NASAs Earth satellite observing systems are helping the U.S. Department of Agriculture Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) improve the accuracy and timeliness of information they provide about important crops around the world. FAS information is crucial in decisions affecting U.S. agriculture, trade policy, and food aid.
WAITING FOR MORE RAIN IN SOUTH AFRICA
These MODIS images contrast conditions in South Africa in December 2003 with conditions in December 2001. The region is coming out of a dry winter, and a lack of rain forced many farmers to delay planting summer crops. In December 2001, bright green vegetation covers the region, but in December 2003 broad pink and tan areas of bare soil appear in its place. Many of the reservoirs, shown as black spots in these false-color images, appear to cover a smaller area in 2003 than in 2001. Credit: Jeff Schmaltz, MODIS Land Rapid Response Team at NASA GSFC
NASA and the University of Maryland are providing the FAS with observations and data products from instruments on NASAs Aqua and Terra satellites and from the TOPEX/Poseidon, Jason and Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) satellites. FAS analysts are using these products to regularly assess global agricultural conditions.
"The partnership between NASA and FAS is an example of how we extend the benefits of Earth science missions to meet the needs of our operational partners," said Ed Sheffner of NASAs Earth Science Enterprise.
David E. Steitz | GSFC
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