Using satellite imagery to measure plant biomass, a team of crop scientists has demonstrated an ability to accurately forecast crop[yields sooner than traditional forecasting methods. The information is available through a new Planalytics e-communication, the GreenReport E-newsletter.
“Since 1999, Planalytics and our strategic partner TerraMetrics Agriculture, Inc. (TMAI) have used satellite imagery to track and measure vegetative growth conditions across the U.S.”, said Jed Lafferty, Managing Director of Planalytics Life Sciences. “The satellite images estimate the amount of chlorophyll that growing plants are producing.” By combining the maps with weather intelligence Planalytics can provide clients with timely and actionable information.
The new program takes this a step further. A team of crop scientists affiliated with TMAI and the Kansas Applied Remote Sensing program (KARS) at the University of Kansas have compiled six years of nationwide crop yield forecast results for wheat (winter, spring and durum), corn, soybeans, oats, barley and sorghum. The first winter wheat forecast for 2008 was produced on March 21st.
“By using satellite imagery instead of traditional sampling techniques, crop yield forecasts can be generated up to two months before USDA estimates. And because they are based on images that are constantly being downloaded from the satellite, we can update these forecasts every two weeks throughout the growing season.”
Planalytics GreenReport and Crop Yield Forecasts are available through subscription only. For more information, click here or contact Planalytics at 800.882.5881, extension 972.