Landsat and Agriculture
The Landsat program has been running since 1972, having successfully launched 7 satellites into orbit. (Landsat 6, owned by a private company, failed at launch and never reached orbit.) Since 1972, Landsat satellites have been regularly collecting data about the Earth's land surface to help monitor our natural resources and study how land cover and land use are changing.
While the amount of land used for agriculture has only grown a small amount since 1972 (6%), the total amount of grain we are producing has more than doubled. The value of the agriculture industry has increased by 40% in that time, to $198 billion per year.
Landsat data are an important tool to manage crops. For instance, they can detect the health and productivity of individual farm fields.
Landsat is an impartial tool for managing water resources. They can detect the amount of water that an individual farm field is using, thereby helping to conserve water use and adjudicate water rights.
Please give credit for this item to:
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center
- Matthew R. Radcliff (USRA)