Thursday, July 19, 2012

The Promise of Satellites for Agriculture

Back in the day ASCS had an Aerial Photography Branch in the Farmer Programs Division (and two labs, one in Asheville and one in Salt Lake).  With Comsat Congress started the process of privatizing the exploitation of space (in 1962).  We were young then, and full of hope that science fiction dreams would come true.  So ASCS dipped its toe into the world of satellite sensing and satellite photography, thinking someday we'd be able to assess crop conditions and acreages from space. We had for a while someone stationed in Houston just to work with NASA on this area.

I'm not sure of the history between then and now, but this earthobservatory image from NASA shows what's possible now, in the way of assessing drought.

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