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Agriculture: OVERVIEW

The Agriculture Data and Information Services Center (DISC) is part of the NASA Earth Science Division Applied Sciences Program, Agriculture, one of eight National Applications. The aim of the Agriculture National Application is to improve agricultural competitiveness through a better understanding of weather and climate, especially prediction of events with increasing accuracy and longer lead times, and integration of predictions and observations into local and regional decision support systems used in agriculture management.

The Agriculture DISC is a contribution of the Goddard Earth Sciences (GES) DISC, via the NASA-supported project, "Integrating NASA Earth Science Enterprise Data into Global Agricultural Decision Support Systems." This project is part of the Earth Science Research, Education, and Applications Solutions Network (REASoN CAN-02-OES-01).

Project Summary

Monitoring global agricultural crop conditions during the growing season and estimating potential seasonal production are critically important for market development of U. S. agricultural products and for global food security. Two major operational users of satellite remote sensing for global crop monitoring are the U. S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) and the U.N. World Food Program (WFP). The primary goal of FAS is to improve foreign market access for U.S. agricultural products. The WFP uses food to meet emergency needs and to support economic and social development. Both use global agricultural decision support systems that can integrate and synthesize a variety of data sources to provide accurate and timely information on global crop conditions.

Project Goals

  1. Integrate relevant NASA Earth Science data into modeling and operational systems to enhance the accuracy and timely assessments of global agricultural crop conditions.
  2. Provide NASA satellite data-based, operational solutions to the USDA FAS and UN WFP, by leveraging existing capabilities of these two user organizations and of the GES DISC.

Project Tasks

  1. Develop agriculture-oriented land products based on MODIS and TRMM.
  2. Develop agriculture-oriented hydrologic products based on TRMM and other satellites.
  3. Generate MODIS 250-m, 10-Day composite surface reflectance product.
  4. Develop Agricultural Information System (AIS) based on GES DISC's Giovanni data exploration and analysis tool.
  5. Integrate NASA products into USDA FAS Decision Support System.
  6. Integrate NASA products into UN WFP Decision Support System.

Project Partners (Principal and Co-Investigators)

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Agricultural Information System

AIS schematic diagram

The AIS provides environmental data and information to support agricultural activities; specifically, it operationally provides access to NASA and other data products (e.g., rainfall, crop model outputs) and services.

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SE Asia 90-day accumulated rainfall

Visit rainfall map guide to analysis of current conditions.


TRMM Multi-Satellite Precipiation Analysis (TMPA) seamlessly accessible from USDA FAS Crop Explorer

Global map

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Agricultural Service (USDA-FAS), in cooperation with NASA’s Goddard Earth Sciences Data and Information Services Center (GES DISC), are routinely using satellite-derived data to monitor precipitation around the world. This project is unique, being the first of its kind to utilize near-real time global satellite precipitation data in an operational manner. Satellite precipitation products are produced by NASA via a semi-automated process and made accessible from this Web site for USDA and public viewing. Monitoring precipitation for agriculturally important areas around the world greatly assists the USDA-FAS to quickly locate regional weather events, as well as improve crop production estimates.

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Last updated: Aug 04, 2014 06:47 PM ET