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Agriculture Monitoring in the Americas (AMA)

Agriculture Monitoring in the Americas
What We Do

The Americas are critical contributors to the global food system and home to a rich array of natural resources which provide a critical buffer against global climate change. Agriculture in the Americas is vital to local and regional economies, as well.  Land management for agriculture is of great import to the region and beyond, but there remain key gaps in understanding of the regions’ intricacies, and remote sensing-based agricultural monitoring can help.


Meanwhile, the G20 GEOGLAM initiative is organized around thematic areas and is implemented at national, regional, and global levels. The regional network for the Americas is known as “Agricultural Monitoring in the Americas,” and is a joint contribution to both GEOGLAM and AmeriGEO. The group focuses on strengthening national systems’ monitoring capabilities through Earth observations (EO) as well as on fostering with-in-region international collaboration around research and development and operational implementation of monitoring tools for the main crops types and rangeland/pasture areas in the Americas. Through facilitating contact and coordination between researchers and decision-makers at the ministerial level, we can best lever EO data to confront challenges around food production, food security, climate change, and sustainable development. AMA broadly focuses on:


  • Assessing data-to-information needs in the Americas
  • Fostering research collaborations toward operational methods (including participation in the JECAM and RAPP networks)
  • Capacity development and technology transfer in the use and management of EO datasets toward producing actionable information
  • Moving EO information into the hands of decision-makers

Americas (Canada to Chile)

How Satellites Make This Work

While its need was initially acknowledged in a Regional Workshop on Crop Monitoring hosted in Buenos Aires, Argentina in 2012, and AmeriGEO was established in 2015, it was not until 2018 with support from NASA’s Capacity Building Program, that proper coordination and leadership of a Food Security and Sustainable Agriculture focus area was launched. AMA works throughout the Americas, convening an open community of diverse actors who are engaged in agricultural assessment and monitoring to promote timely and accurate understanding of agricultural land use, productivity, and sustainability. Its objectives are strengthening national systems’ monitoring capabilities through Earth observations and fostering within-region international collaboration around research, development, and operational implementation of monitoring tools for important crop types and rangeland/pasture areas in the Americas.


In the past two years, the AMA-WG has gained participation from experts from ministries of agriculture, space agencies, universities, and industry from over twenty institutes in Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Mexico, the United States, and Uruguay. Based on initial baseline assessment of needs, we have convened multiple webinars and conference sessions in English, Spanish, and Portuguese language. We have launched a community-curated resource forum to promote discovery, access, and preservation of regional EO-based resources. We have facilitated intra-national discussions in Brazil, Chile, and Uruguay, enabling more effective resource mobilization for shared objectives related to food security and agricultural production. We have undertaken research in the context of JECAM to advance monitoring techniques and tools. We have enriched within-region capacity for monitoring of key crops, and in general increased awareness of GEO, GEOGLAM, and space agency resources for agricultural assessment.

What’s Happening

The most up-to-date information on AMA can be found on its website and its Twitter. Looking ahead, AMA, as a “best-efforts” initiative, still confronts geographic gaps as well as organizational challenges to long-term solvency and sustainability. We invite participation from actors both within and working on agriculture in the Americas.

Alyssa Whitcraft, University of Maryland
Team Members
Michael Humber, University of Maryland
Antonio Sanchez, University of Maryland
Inbal Becker-Reshef, University of Maryland
Estefania Puricelli, University of Maryland
Esteban J. Copati, Buenos Aires Grain Exchange

This project is funded under a different cooperative agreement than Harvest (80NSSC18K0329; Program Officer: Nancy Searby). It is being integrated into Harvest and leveraging Harvest activities into this network.