A new approach has been devised at Stanford’s school of Earth, Energy, & Environmental Sciences to estimate crop yields from the space using a new wave of satellites. Marshall Burke and David Lobell, assistant professors-cum-researchers at Stanford University, California, argued that Earth-Observing Satellites have managed to capture the high resolute images of land surfaces, however, stands unable to visualize the small land surface at high resolution. This made them set out to look for a better alternative by which the crop yields can be estimated from the space by magnifying the small agricultural lands. Thence, they ended developing a new wave of satellites.
“You can get lots of them up there, all capturing very small parts of the land surface at very high resolution,” said David Lobell. “Any one satellite doesn’t give you very much information, but the constellation of them means that you’re covering most of the world at very high resolution and very low cost. That’s something we never really had even a few years ago.”
In the study, they tested the implementation of the new wave of satellites are efficient to estimate crop yields in Kenya where maize or corn are grown on small lands such as half an acre or one acre. The co-authored study of David and Burke has been published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences in the issue of 13 Feb. They believe that this new approach is useful in estimating agricultural productivity and test intervention strategies in regions where limited data is obtained.