Public Release: 

High-tech observations for food security

Satellite, other remote monitoring can improve crop outcomes

American Society of Agronomy

Oct. 4, 2018--Satellites and other remote technology are able to gather information as varied as soil moisture, crop yields, and growing conditions. How will this improve food security world-wide?

The Special Session Symposium, "Advances in the Use of Earth Observations for Crop Modeling and Monitoring for Food Security," will address the topic at the American Society of Agronomy and Crop Science Society Annual Meeting. This year's meeting will be held Nov. 4-7, 2018, in Baltimore, MD. The theme of the meeting is "Enhancing Productivity in a Changing Climate." The meeting is held in collaboration with the Canadian Society of Agronomy.

"Crop failure, food shortages and food price spikes have occurred in recent years and can be expected to continue under a changing climate," says symposium organizer Varaprasad Bandaru. "Governments and growers need timely information on crop condition and reliable forecasting."

Details covered during the symposium include:

  • Recent improvements to agricultural remote sensing that now provide satellite data at more frequent intervals and with more detail, regardless of cloud cover
  • Advances in computing to make data processing and crop mapping widely available
  • Cutting-edge technology from NASA, the University of Maryland, and other sources to support a more efficient use of water and land resources

"Improved Earth observations and crop models can help farmers in management decisions. At the broad scale, this has the potential to increase food security and stabilize markets," Bandaru says.


For more specific information about this symposium, visit For more information about the 2018 meeting, visit Media are invited to attend the conference. Pre-registration by Oct. 15, 2018 is required. Visit for registration information.

To speak with one of the scientists, contact Susan V. Fisk, 608-273-8091, to arrange an interview.

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