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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Beltsville, Maryland (BARC) » Beltsville Agricultural Research Center » Hydrology and Remote Sensing Laboratory » Research » Research Project #437619

Research Project: Operational Production of Long-Term Enhanced Soil Moisture Information for USDA-FAS using Hydrology Modeling and Remote Sensing

Location: Hydrology and Remote Sensing Laboratory

Project Number: 8042-13610-030-001-I
Project Type: Interagency Reimbursable Agreement

Start Date: Jul 9, 2019
End Date: Sep 30, 2022

The proposed project aims at enhancing USDA Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) global crop assessment system using new satellite-based soil moisture and rainfall products and the application of USDA ARS land surface modeling and data assimilation tools. USDA FAS crop yield forecasts affect decisions made by farmers, businesses, and governments by predicting fundamental supply conditions within global crop commodity markets. Regional and national crop yield forecasts are made by crop USDA FAS analysts. Soil moisture availability is a major factor impacting these forecasts, and USDA FAS currently estimates soil moisture using an outdated soil water balance model. We seek to utilize new remote sensing, modeling and data assimilation approaches to provide USDA FAS with an improved global soil moisture product.

The proposal seeks to utilize new remote-sensing data sources to improve the quality of root-zone soil moisture data products available to crop production analysts at USDA FAS. In particular, it will develop and implement a new global land data assimilation system to optimally merge remote sensing information acquired from the NASA Soil Moisture Active/Passive Mission (SMAP) and precipitation estimates provided by the NASA Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) mission.