RapidEye To Provide Imagery To USDA Agencies

Geospatial solutions provider RapidEye recently announced that it has been named a Prime Vendor Contract to the USDA and three other agencies. Under the contract, RapidEye will provide its levels 1B and 3A satellite imagery products.

The agencies include the Foreign Agricultural Services (FAS), the Office of Global Analysis (OGA), and the International Production and Assessment Division (IPAD) in addition to the USDA. Each will have the ability to order imagery either from RapidEye’s existing archive (the RapidEye Library), or to have the RapidEye constellation collect imagary of areas not currently in the Library.

“The use of RapidEye satellite data should allow our crop analysts to use a finer resolution data set,” says Robert Tetrault, satellite imagery archive manager of IPAD/Office of Global Analysis/FAS/USDA. “We look forward to testing this imagery to see how it supports our convergence of evidence methodology. The convergence of evidence methodology is used to develop our crop acreage and yield estimates which is vital to our global food security analysis.”

“We look forward to providing multi-temporal, in-season data collection programs to enhance USDA’s crop and vegetation monitoring efforts,” said John Ahlrichs, Vice President of RapidEye. “This contract will give USDA agencies instant access to our imagery for better monitoring and decision making.”

The IPAD/Office of Global Analysis/FAS/USDA is responsible for global crop condition assessments and estimates of area, yield, and production for grains, oilseeds, and cotton. The primary mission of OGA is to target, collect, analyze, and disseminate timely, objective, useful, and cost-effective global crop condition and agricultural market intelligence information.

One of OGA’s key missions is to provide unbiased commodity estimates and forecasts to create a marketing edge for U.S. producers in world markets. The Prime Vendor Contract vehicle allows them to obtain agriculture analysis solutions usingsatellite imagery and ancillary information quickly and cost effectively.

“The purpose of this contract is to promote efficiency, and we are making the best use of every taxpayer dollar,” says Derrick Williams, III, Division Director, IPAD.

For more information visit the RapidEye web site.

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