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GEOGLAM Crop Monitor launches New Crop Condition Monitoring Tool

Crop Monitor

Access to timely Earth Observation (EO) data can ensure effective monitoring of agricultural conditions globally. In order to facilitate this, the initial USDA FAS GLAM and GEOGLAM Crop Monitor were developed at University of Maryland in partnership with USDA and other national and international agencies to: 

  • Facilitate distribution of EO data relevant to agriculture and,
  • Enable the international community to collaboratively produce operational crop assessments

Based on user feedback, the GEOGLAM Crop Monitor team is pleased to announce the launch of the Crop Monitor Exploring Tool (CMET), a new tool for showing the evolution of crop conditions in major crop producer countries based on several EO datasets. Contributors to the product include Ritvik Sahajpal (crop condition plots), Antonio Sanchez (Crop Monitor website), Brian Barker and Estefania Puricelli with help from Inbal Becker-Reshef, Patricia Oliva, Alyssa Whitcraft and Katie McGaughey (crop masks and calendars).

The GEOGLAM Crop Monitor produces monthly updates to provide the Agricultural Market Information System (AMIS) with updates about crop supply in major crop producer countries. A key element of producing these bulletins are partners from universities, agricultural organizations and space agencies from across the globe. Every month, experts from these agencies contribute their knowledge about current local crop conditions in the form of a set of sub-national crop conditions and drivers for in-season crops, with data derived from EO. Subsequently, a conference call is held for partners to discuss issues and discrepancies in the assessments and arrive at a consensus view of the crop conditions.

The GEOGLAM CMET dashboard is intended to assist in this collaborative process by providing a synoptic, neutral and comprehensive view of the various drivers impacting crop conditions through a user-friendly web -interface. The EO variables included in CMET are:

  • Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) provides an indication of vegetation health and is based on the MODIS Surface Reflectance Level 3 product
  • Temperature (Min, Max): Temperature is a key driver of crop growth. Temperature data is obtained from the global NOAA CPC dataset.
  • Precipitation: We track precipitation amounts based on the UCSB CHIRPS product.
  • Evaporative Stress Index (ESI) highlights temporal anomalies in evapotranspiration across the land surface and can capture early signals of “flash drought”.
  • Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP): Soil moisture availability impacts crop growth and is influenced by crop water demand and past and present precipitation totals.
  • Growing Degree Days (GDD): We derive GDD from the NOAA CPC temperature data as a measure of heat accumulation that strongly influences plant growth.

Iowa Maize example

Crop Monitor

Each plot in the CMET dashboard shows the evolution of the EO dataset, starting from the planting to present day (up to harvest time).  The GEOGLAM crop masks are used to spatially subset the EO datasets to the crop producing areas and the GEOGLAM crop calendars to divide the growing season into three parts:

  1. Planting - Early Vegetative;
  2. Vegetative - Reproductive;
  3. Ripening through Harvest;

In addition to these, the crop calendar seasons include Harvest (end of season) and an Out of Season period.

The CMET dashboards and web-interface are anticipated to be useful in assessing the latest crop conditions globally. The CMET dashboard and interface are available at 

News Date
Mar 11, 2019