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Remote Sens. 2010, 2(6), 1589-1609;

Monitoring Global Croplands with Coarse Resolution Earth Observations: The Global Agriculture Monitoring (GLAM) Project

Geography Department, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742, USA
NASA Goddard Space and Flight Center (GSFC), Greenbelt, MD 20771, USA
Geographic Information Science Center of Excellence, South Dakota State University, Brookings, SD 57007, USA
Earth System Science Interdisciplinary Center (ESSIC) University of Maryland Research Park (M-Square), College Park, MD 20742, USA
Foreign Agricultural Service, US Department of Agriculture, Washington, DC 20250, USA
NASA Head Quarters, Washington, DC 20546-0001, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 19 April 2010 / Revised: 7 June 2010 / Accepted: 8 June 2010 / Published: 18 June 2010
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Global Croplands)
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In recent years there has been a dramatic increase in the demand for timely, comprehensive global agricultural intelligence. Timely information on global crop production is indispensable for combating the growing stress on the world’s crop production and for securing both short-term and long-term stable and reliable supply of food. Global agriculture monitoring systems are critical to providing this kind of intelligence and global earth observations are an essential component of an effective global agricultural monitoring system as they offer timely, objective, global information on croplands distribution, crop development and conditions as the growing season progresses. The Global Agriculture Monitoring Project (GLAM), a joint NASA, USDA, UMD and SDSU initiative, has built a global agricultural monitoring system that provides the USDA Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) with timely, easily accessible, scientifically-validated remotely-sensed data and derived products as well as data analysis tools, for crop-condition monitoring and production assessment. This system is an integral component of the USDA’s FAS Decision Support System (DSS) for agriculture. It has significantly improved the FAS crop analysts’ ability to monitor crop conditions, and to quantitatively forecast crop yields through the provision of timely, high-quality global earth observations data in a format customized for FAS alongside a suite of data analysis tools. FAS crop analysts use these satellite data in a ‘convergence of evidence’ approach with meteorological data, field reports, crop models, attaché reports and local reports. The USDA FAS is currently the only operational provider of timely, objective crop production forecasts at the global scale. These forecasts are routinely used by the other US Federal government agencies as well as by commodity trading companies, farmers, relief agencies and foreign governments. This paper discusses the operational components and new developments of the GLAM monitoring system as well as the future role of earth observations in global agricultural monitoring. View Full-Text
Keywords: agriculture; monitoring; MODIS; croplands; GLAM agriculture; monitoring; MODIS; croplands; GLAM

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Becker-Reshef, I.; Justice, C.; Sullivan, M.; Vermote, E.; Tucker, C.; Anyamba, A.; Small, J.; Pak, E.; Masuoka, E.; Schmaltz, J.; Hansen, M.; Pittman, K.; Birkett, C.; Williams, D.; Reynolds, C.; Doorn, B. Monitoring Global Croplands with Coarse Resolution Earth Observations: The Global Agriculture Monitoring (GLAM) Project. Remote Sens. 2010, 2, 1589-1609.

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