J2.1 Advancing the Use of Earth Observations to Benefit Global Food Security and Agriculture (Invited Presentation)

Monday, 8 January 2018: 8:45 AM
Room 18B (ACC) (Austin, Texas)
Debra Peters, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Las Cruces, NM; and A. Bartuska and R. Tetrault

USDA plays an important role as “fair broker” of information on the status and security of the United States and global food supply. USDA surveys and farmer relationships are the source of much of the “ground-truth” required for statistical assessments of crop area, yield, and production domestically while geospatial data and the network of agricultural attachés plays a larger role globally. Through the research and statistical agencies within USDA, emerging technologies and analytics contribute to the continuous refinements and improvements in these activities. It is important that USDA continue to carry out these roles, and serve the public good in ways that the private sector cannot.

Domestic and global assessments of production at the county, state, regional, and national scales are provided by USDA agencies and the international Group on Earth Observations (GEO). Producers typically rely on service providers for within-season assessments of their working lands. Remote sensing, field sampling, producer surveys, and crop growth models are among the technologies used for these assessments. New information from advanced remote and in situ sensors are becoming available that, when integrated with existing measurements, observations, and surveys, offer opportunities to improve the efficiency of the process while offering the potential for more robust and timely assessments. Recent advances of data processing algorithms and computer systems offer opportunities that can also improve assessments, including the identification of factors limiting production.

- Indicates paper has been withdrawn from meeting
- Indicates an Award Winner