Virginia wine countryMay 20, 2015 • [Source: NASA DEVELOP] The Virginia Wine Board was created by Virginia General Assembly in 1984 as part of Virginia’s Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. The Virginia Wine Board has promoted the interests of vineyards and wineries in the Commonwealth through research, education and marketing. In that spirit, the Wine Board partnered with Wise DEVELOP to map the extension of Virginia vineyards. Vineyard extent was measured using data from Landsat 8 Operational Land Imager (OLI).
The results of this project informed the Virginia Wine Board of the extent of the vineyards in their efforts to explore the possibilities of extension.

Thirsty crops, grapes

Crop irrigation accounts for a considerable amount of water use in the Coastal Mid-Atlantic region. A better understanding of how often farmers need to irrigate their fields could decrease water waste and lower economic costs. The METRIC model is a powerful tool that calculates evapotranspiration (ET) based on localized data. Executable in ESRI ArcGIS software from a Python script, the model was used as a decision support tool that can provide farmers with information regarding ET rates, allowing them to make more informed irrigation decisions. While METRIC-derived ET estimates are beneficial for irrigation purposes, it also provides state officials with a useful proxy for drought monitoring. Utilizing data from NASA Earth observations in the Coastal Mid-Atlantic region contributes to a large-scale, more-complete, understanding of water consumption behavior in an area.

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Further Reading:
+ From space, NASA shows Virginia vineyards how they really look, Washington Post
+ NASA program completes two projects to support Virginia’s wine, agriculture industries, WTKR
+ Virginia Agriculture I, NASA DEVELOP
+ Coastal Mid-Atlantic Water Resources II, NASA DEVELOP