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Timely and accurate information on weekly crop progress and development is essential to a dynamic agricultural industry in the U. S. and the world. By law, the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) of the U. S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) is responsible for monitoring and assessing U.S. agricultural production. Currently NASS compiles and issues weekly state and national crop progress and development reports based on reports from knowledgeable state and county agricultural officials and farmers. Such survey-based reports are subjectively estimated for an entire county, lack spatial coverage, and are labor intensive. There has been limited use of remote sensing data to assess crop conditions. NASS produces weekly 1-km resolution un-calibrated AVHRR-based NDVI static images to represent national vegetation conditions but there is no quantitative crop progress information. Although USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) world-wide Crop Explorer uses the MODIS and SPOT-VEG sensors to provide vegetative and NDVI images, virtually no quantified crop progress data is available at a useful scale for NASS. This project will develop, evaluate and operate a National Crop Progress Monitoring System. Overcoming the shortcomings of the existing systems, it will integrate NASA satellite and model-based land surface and weather products, NASS’ wealth of internal crop progress and condition data and Cropland Data Layers (CDL), and the Farm Service Agency’s (FSA) Common Land Units (CLU). The system, using service-oriented architecture and NASA geospatial technologies, will automatically produce and disseminate quantitative national crop progress maps and associated decision support data at 250-m resolution, as well as summary reports to support NASS and worldwide users in their decision-making. It will provide overall and specific crop progress for individual crops from the state level down to CLU field level to meet different users’ needs on all known croplands. This will greatly enhance the effectiveness and accuracy of the NASS aggregated crop condition data and charts of and provides objective and scientific evidence and guidance for the adjustment of NASS survey data. The proposed work will significantly enhance the quality and timeliness of national, state, and county-level estimates of crop progress and crop conditions, improve the defensibility of NASS statistics-based reports, and better serve the NASS’ customers. Those in agriculture will make better decisions, making U.S agriculture more efficient, profitable, and effective, with economic benefits of billions of dollars in a very shot time.

Project PI: Liping Di/George Mason University

Department of Geography and Geoinformation Science 4400 University Drive, MS 6C3 Fairfax VA 22030-4444

Phone: (301) 982-0795

Email: ldi@gmu.edu

http://ggs.gmu.edu/People/Di/Di.html

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Started: Sep 27, 2010

Last Activity: Dec 16, 2010

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