NASA and CropX partner in soil monitoring

30-03 | |
Photo: Canva
Photo: Canva

NASA Harvest and CropX aim to provide U.S. farmers and industry experts with the data and information they need to improve farming sustainability by conserving resources and improving crop yields.

NASA Harvest (NASA’s Food Security and Agriculture Program) and soil anaytics company CropX announced a strategic partnership that will give NASA Harvest soil insights for its global agricultural monitoring efforts.

Support farmer productivity

The partnership is to support farmer productivity while preserving natural resources through the use of satellite data. Combining CropX soil data monitoring, insights provided by the CropX ag analytics platform, and NASA’s network of Earth-observing satellites, NASA Harvest aims to deliver critical insights to governments and farmers around the globe in support of informed and science-driven decision making.

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“Soil health and nutrient management is at the very root of food security and sustainable agriculture concerns – an accurate understanding of what is actually happening underneath the ground is essential,” noted Nadav Liebermann, CTO of CropX.

“Satellite imagery has long been an integral part of CropX algorithms, and our partnership with NASA Harvest will deliver valuable agronomic insights by connecting critical data at different depths underground and from an expansive network of satellites in space. We are looking forward to working with the NASA Harvest team to improve farming decision-making worldwide – in both developed and undeveloped regions.”

Pilot program to test and finetune algorithms

NASA has deployed CropX solutions across a group of alfalfa farms in Arizona controlled by IAF Investments Group to test and finetune the algorithms that will become the foundation of nationwide, and eventually global, agriculture insights.

Over a 12-month time period with the integration of NASA satellite data and synthetic aperture radar (SAR) information, the pilot program will quickly establish the parameters for water usage estimates, yield prediction, soil quality and land usage assessments based on multiple crop growing cycles.

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A CropX soil sensor. Paired with NASA's satellite data, information provided by the CropX soil monitoring platform can be scaled in support of farmer productivity and more effective use of available resources. - Photo: CropX

A CropX soil sensor. Paired with NASA’s satellite data, information provided by the CropX soil monitoring platform can be scaled in support of farmer productivity and more effective use of available resources. – Photo: CropX

Renewed focus on soil moisture metrics

Particularly in light of a renewed focus on soil moisture metrics spurred by NASA’s NISARmission, the team hopes to build upon the pilot study in the coming years by using the best available technology to analyze and support more cost-effective and environmentally efficient farming methods.

According to Dr. Inbal Becker-Reshef, program director of NASA Harvest, CropX offers the advanced tools and global farm footprint needed to understand and improve soil health and water quality tied to farming ecosystems around the world. “Paired with satellite data, this provides the opportunity to scale these insights in support of farmer productivity and more effective use of available resources.”

Alo read: NASA technology to reveal crop health insights

Claver
Hugo Claver Web editor for Future Farming