Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Dueling Aerial Compliance: NRCS and FSA

ASCS/FSA has long used aerial photography to validate acreage reports.  It was a big deal in the 70's when we moved to aerial compliance using 35mm slides matched against the base photography.  Samuel T. Brown, Jr. and his shop got an award because they saved so much energy

Now it seems NRCS is into aerial compliance(for conservation compliance reviews):
Instead of staff taking photographs [as they did in last year's pilot], this year NRCS will contract to use special planes equipped with GPS-synched, high-resolution cameras attached to the belly of the craft.
“We feel this will be much more efficient,” said Adkins. “We went through several teams of volunteers to complete last year’s pilot project. All the banking and tight turning required to get good photographs took a lot of time.”
I wonder if there's been any coordination among the agencies.  Faint hope. (Though I suspect the parameters for NRCS are enough different than FSA to make coordination hard. I am a little concerned about the idea of notifying landowners of the flights--does that set a precedent for FSA, or is what I would guess to be a big different in altitude enough of a distinguishing feature?)

No comments: