TalkingFields, a European Space Agency-led project, is poised to help European farmers. Using TalkingFields farmers will be better able to allocate fertilizer and water and to more quickly identify disease and pest problems affecting their fields. TalkingFields uses a combination of satellite land imagery, GPS-like navigation, farm management software, and crop growth models to enable precision farming and thereby sustainable food production and better food security. TalkingFields can use a variety of satellite imagery, but preference is given to free data sources—making Landsat a key input. ESA’s Sentinal-2 (to be launched in 2012) will also be an important free source of data. The project is currently in a demonstration phase.
+ redOrbit: “Project Guides European Farmers From Space” [external link] [pdf]
Safeguarding freshwater resources is crucial, and while scientists use a variety of ground-based techniques to gauge water quality, the Landsat program has provided water quality data from orbit for decades.