Mapping and Monitoring Croplands with USDA’s Geospatial Decision-Support Systems

Authors: Lisa Colson*, USDA/Foreign Agricultural Service
Topics: Agricultural Geography, Hazards, Risks, and Disasters, Remote Sensing
Keywords: Agriculture, Remote Sensing, Weather, Big Data, Earth Observation Data
Session Type: Paper
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


The US Department of Agriculture’s International Production Assessment Division (IPAD) is part of the Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) and is responsible for operationally publishing monthly production, area and yield estimates for 17 commodities in more than 150 countries. To carry out this mission, analysts from the USDA/FAS leverage a variety of decision-support systems, including Crop Explorer and the Global Agricultural & Disaster Assessment System (GADAS). Customers of USDA/FAS need rapid visualization of near-real time data (e.g. weather, soil moisture, disasters, or other crop conditions), whereas others need to conduct detailed satellite imagery investigations of in-season locations of specific crops in a country (or within a region). One example will briefly walk through monitoring options of Earth Observation data to check on current and historical crop conditions. Another example will demonstrate a powerful visualization and online analytical tool for assessing real-time crop conditions during and after a disaster event via GADAS. The third example highlights how we are exploring the use of Google Earth Engine for crop classifications from Landsat 8 and Sentinel 2A/B. As these examples will demonstrate, these decision-support systems support USDA/IPAD in leveraging Earth observation data to continuously monitor the latest conditions of key global grain, oilseed, and fiber crops.

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