Satellite Monitoring System Gets An Update To Better Address Food Shortages

Food security and the consistency of agricultural yields are increasingly in question around the world. The effects of extreme weather, climate change, crop diseases, and other issues have prompted new urgency for fortifying global food production. Gaining a good handle on crop health and distribution is not a new priority, however; the USDA and NASA have been taking crop monitoring to major heights since the 1980s. With the development of the Global Agricultural Monitoring (GLAM) system, a collaboration of scientists has been using satellites to monitor and analyze crop production around the globe. Now the system is being given an update and will continue to play a vital role in agricultural monitoring.

 

Enhanced Functionality For Crop Averages And Anomalies

The GLAM update has focused on improving speed and flexibility. The changes will not only reduce processing time, they will make the most of new datasets and computing architectures, including cloud-based features that speed up and enhance many functions.

Systems users around the globe will be able to apply various datasets and investigate croplands for average and anomaly events over time. The update also gives users better tools for getting around common and obstructive issues like cloud cover, which makes it easier to compare and analyze the state of agricultural regions and individual crops year after year. Other features will give users many other abilities, including chart customization tools that deliver clear, verifiable, and efficient insights from a comprehensive viewpoint.

Tools To Prepare For The Unpreventable

These tools can help in many circumstances, including seasonal abnormalities, extreme weather and temperatures, and in the event of natural disasters. This then enables organizations to better prepare for crop shortages and prioritize certain agricultural aspects. While monitoring crops alone will not prevent food shortages, it can help us to plan and prepare in ways that will lessen their impact.

What do you think of the decision to update the GLAM system? What are your thoughts on how such a resource can be used?

ABOUT NASA

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration is America’s civil space program and the global leader in space exploration.

At its 20 centers and facilities across the country – and the only National Laboratory in space – NASA studies Earth, including its climate, our Sun, and our solar system and beyond. We conduct research, testing, and development to advance aeronautics, including electric propulsion and supersonic flight. We develop and fund space technologies that will enable future exploration and benefit life on Earth.

NASA also leads a Moon to Mars exploration approach, which includes working with U.S. industry, international partners, and academia to develop new technology, and send science research and soon humans to explore the Moon on Artemis missions that will help prepare for human exploration of the Red Planet.

ABOUT USDA

Our vision is to provide economic opportunity through innovation, helping rural America to thrive; to promote agriculture production that better nourishes Americans while also helping feed others throughout the world; and to preserve our Nation’s natural resources through conservation, restored forests, improved watersheds, and healthy private working lands.

Our agencies help to keep America’s farmers and ranchers in business and ensure that the nation’s commercial supply of meat, poultry, and egg products is safe, wholesome, and properly labeled. They also help to ensure the health and care of animals and plants and the health of the land through sustainable management, and they work to improve the economy and quality of life in all of rural America.

ABOUT The GLAM System

USDA Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) crop analysts use the GLAM web-based information-analysis and data-delivery system, to track the evolution of the growing season by monitoring crop conditions and tracking factors impairing agricultural productivity. To this end, GLAM developed a customized web-based information-analysis and data-delivery system to monitor crop conditions and to locate and track the factors impairing agricultural productivity.

This system has been scaled and updated to meet the needs of various organizations around the world at regional and national scales. This system provides crop analysts with a suite of MODIS and VIIRS temporal composites of vegetation index data, false-color imagery, and a dynamic crop mask. These data products are supplemented by the CHIRPS (Climate Hazards Group InfraRed Precipitation plus Station data) rainfall composites provided by the USGS Climate Hazards Group.

Complementing these data products is a range of web-based analysis tools that allow analysts to interrogate these data and to drill down to the pixel level of detail. Using these data and tools analysts track the evolution of the growing season, make inter-annual comparisons of season dynamics and inform decision-makers of agricultural conditions and impediments to worldwide food security.

Article Sources:

https://scitechdaily.com/glam-keeping-track-of-food-production-from-space/

https://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/blogs/fromthefield/2021/03/19/agricultural-monitoring-gets-glamorized/

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