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Scientists help farmers by tracking microclimate

Jerusalem, Israel: Scientists in Israel developed a way of using satellite images to help farmers detect small-scale changes in climate and improve their harvests. Uri Dayan, a climatologist from Hebrew University; and Itamar Lensky, Head of the remote sensing laboratory at Bar Ilan University; explained that this new method uses real-time thermal images made available from NASA and then analyses the surface temperature of each plot at a fine scale.
“Once we understand how nature works, we pack it into an algorithm, and the results of this algorithm we can give to the farmers,” Lensky, said.
Once the scientists find a partner for development, a global interface to guide farmers could be up and running in a couple of years. The system will improve as satellite pictures are taken with higher resolution, they stressed.
Gideon Yisrael, who has worked the fields of central Israel for 40 years, called the development a game-changer. “It will provide farmers with a good measurement for making good decisions and hopefully bring them more success and more harvest,” he said.
Rather than analyse the weather and topography of large swathes of land, the new system divides fields into smaller microclimates that guide farmers on the best way to work each individual plot. It tells them when it is best to plant seeds, when to spray pesticides and even which crop is most suitable for each square-kilometre field, said Uri Dayan, a climatologist from Hebrew University in Jerusalem.
Source: www.dawn.com