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Tuesday, February 14, 2017

The use of high-resolution satellites to measure African farm yields.

Stanford researchers have developed a new way to estimate crop yields from space, using high-res photos snapped by a new wave of compact satellites. This approach is detailed in the journal of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, could be used to estimate agricultural productivity and test intervention strategies in poor regions of the world where data are currently extremely scarce. Improved agricultural productivity is one of the main ways to reduce hunger and improve livelihoods in poor parts of the world and to improve agricultural productivity, measurement is important. The team focused on an area in Western Kenya where there are a lot of smallholder farmers that grow maize, or corn, on small, half-acre or one-acre lots. They combined the imagery with computer-based crop models to make accurate predictions, just based on the imagery alone they deduced the actual productivity on the field.