Satellites help monitor corn and soybeans growth condition in the US

Global food security is threatened, and we need to secure global food production until 2050. Therefore, weather-related risks in crop production are not only significant to farmers but rather a central issue for society, as ensuring food security is crucial. Although plant growth and phenology are critical components of such risks, extensive analysis of these variables are absent in many parts of the world. Our group member Bumsuk Seo has developed an integrative approach to assessing plant growth on a large scale in a study published in Field Crops Research (Volume 238).
In the paper, growth condition of corn and soybeans in the United States were analysed and compared to the US crop statistics. The study showed that consideration of crop growth timing is crucial to monitor crop growth condition. The method can be potentially useful to secure global food production. 

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.fcr.2019.03.015

Research highlights:

► Crop growth condition and growth timing are estimated by remote sensing in the US Corn Belt (Iowa and Illinois)

► Estimated crop growth condition reflected the disastrous climatic events like flooding and drought (e.g., severe drought in 2012).

► Future continental and global monitoring of crop growth condition can be achieved using remote sensing.

Bumsuk Seo

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