September 2010

Sep 2, 2010Most New Farmland Comes from Cutting Tropical Forest

Source: Louis Bergeron, Stanford Report A new study led by a Stanford researcher shows that more than 80 percent of the new farmland created in the tropics between 1980 and 2000 came from felling forests, which sends carbon into the atmosphere [...]

Feb 25, 2010Landsat Helps Assess Crop Water Productivity

Xueliang Cai and Landsat Science Team member, Prasad Thenkabail, have used satellite data, including Landsat, to calculate crop water productivity, i.e. how much water is used for crop production—the so called “crop per drop.” Details of their [...]

Agriculture Idaho
Jan 21, 2010Water Watchers

Dean Stevenson has farmed the plains of south-central Idaho most of his forty-seven years. Like all farmers, he worries about things like the price of sugar beets and malt barley or the cost of gasoline, but most of all, he worries about water. [...]

rice paddies
Nov 18, 2009How Wetlands and Rice Paddies Affect the Spread of Bird Flu

In the mid-1990s, highly pathogenic avian influenza (bird flu) emerged in southern China. Severe outbreaks in the winter of 2005-2006 spread the virus, designated H5N1, across Asia, Europe, and Africa, killing hundreds of people, thousands of [...]

Noreen Thomas
Sep 16, 2009Landsat Cultivates Fans Among Midwest Farmers

Contributor: Gretchen Cook-Anderson, NASA Earth Science News Team Noreen Thomas’ farm looks like a patchwork quilt. Fields change hue with the season and with the alternating plots of organic wheat, soybeans, corn, alfalfa, flax, or hay. Thomas [...]

Rick Allen (top) along with Bill Kramber (middle) and Tony Morse (bottom)
Sep 15, 2009Landsat-Based Water-Use Mapping Method Hailed as an Important American Government Innovation

Contributor: Laura E.P. Rocchio Last night, Harvard University’s prestigious Ash Institute selected a Landsat-based water-use mapping method as a 2009 Innovations in American Government Award winner. “The 2009 Innovations finalists epitomize [...]

Feb 26, 2009Researchers Estimate Vineyard Area Using Landsat

In a study published in the Spanish Journal of Agricultural Research, Spanish researchers demonstrate that Landsat data can be used to locate vineyards and estimate their relative area. This work is important because the European Union requires [...]

Jan 1, 2009Agriculture Students Use Landsat to Evaluate Crop, Rangeland

Source: Steven L. Miller, University of Wyoming Agriculture students in a University of Wyoming class used remote sensing information to analyze crop and rangeland they are either familiar with or farm and ranch upon.The class, taught by Ramesh [...]

Landsat-derived land use maps of St. Kitts and Nevis Islands.
Jul 10, 2008New Landsat-Based Maps of Complex Caribbean Islands Reveal Conservation Opportunities Where Sugar Cane Cultivation Has Become Unprofitable

A new set of vegetation maps for five islands of the Caribbean Lesser Antilles, including Grenada, St. Kitts, Nevis, St. Eustatius and Barbados, appear in the June issue of the Caribbean Journal of Science.  Most of the maps are based on Landsat [...]

Burma: Post-Flood Rice Impact Analysis
Jul 9, 2008USDA FAS Uses GIS, MODIS, and Landsat to Monitor Rice Production in Burma

Source: ESRI Press Release, Redlands, California, USA Subsequent to Cyclone Nargis, a category 3 tropical storm that struck the low-lying and heavily populated coastline of Myanmar (Burma) on May 2, 2008, the Foreign Agriculture Service (FAS) of [...]

May 28, 2008Monitoring Conservation Tillage Via Landat 5 Data

Source: Sharon Durham, USDA ARS To find out how much acreage is being farmed using conservation tillage, Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientists have gone up high--to satellites.Soil scientists Dana G. Sullivan and Timothy C. Strickland, [...]

soil changes map
Mar 24, 2008Landsat Helps Map Soil Carbon Flux

Source: Sara Uttech, Soil Science Society of America, 608-268-4948, Changes in soil carbon occur with changes in land management. Scientists at Oak Ridge National Laboratory and The University of Tennessee investigated [...]

Irrigation system in Colorado.
Apr 17, 2007Precious Resources: Water & Landsat’s Thermal Band

Contributor: Laura Rocchio “Chronic water supply problems in many areas of the West are among the greatest challenges we face in the coming decades.” Mark Limbaugh, the U.S. Department of the Interior’s (DOI) Assistant Secretary for Water and [...]

USDA agricultural engineer examines a sample of grain.
Apr 2, 2007Landsat – Protecting the Price of Bread

Contributor: Laura Rocchio Year-to-year we expect the price of bread to remain relatively stable, but rarely do we realize the complex interactions and activities that are responsible for that price stability. And even less often do we realize [...]

A farmer tending his field.
Apr 6, 2006Saving Millions in Government Dollars: Landsat Helps Fight Crop Insurance Fraud

Contributor: Laura Rocchio Farming is a risky business. A farmer must deal with the precarious nature of the weather, the volatility of commodity prices, the perils of insects and disease, all so that you and I can eat. The U.S. Department Read [...]