NASA Harvest Updates May 2019
We've had a busy month at NASA Harvest! Read below for updates from our partners.
All this month, USAID's Feed the Future blog Agrilinks will focus on how Earth Observations are being used to accomplish their strategic international work on reducing hunger. Follow  Agrilinks and NASA Harvest  this month to read about how USAID partner organizations, including NASA Harvest partners such as Stanford University, University of California Santa Barbara, Lutheran World Relief and GEOGLAM are using EO data and applications to monitor and improve food security.

Sharing Technology, Boosting Food Security & Sustainability in the Field
In response to a call from the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), GEO’s  Global Agricultural Monitoring initiative (GEOGLAM)  has produced its first interim reports on agricultural production and food security in areas of emerging concern - starting with special alerts for the agricultural impacts of drought and Cyclone Idai in southern Africa .

Farmers need to make decisions on irrigation and soil moisture, tillage practices, cover crops, and crop rotations, which all take time and cost money. Applied GeoSolutions partner Dr. Nathan Torbick works to use satellite earth observations to scale tools for irrigation management and conservation practices with the USDA and industry partners across the Lower Mississippi.

Under a  SERVIR  Applied Science Team project, the UMD NASA Harvest Hub provided a training and capacity building workshop in Rwanda in March 2019 on the use of Earth observations data for agriculture monitoring. UMD trained 20 participants from four government institutions.

There is never a good time for drought, but in southern Africa, overly dry conditions hit at a particularly vulnerable time—just after planting for the 2018-2019 maize (corn) season, with millions facing food insecurity. NASA satellite data and land surface models help inform agricultural drought monitoring systems that can warn of famine and reduce risk in food insecure regions.

New Publications
In a new article in the journal Remote Sensing of Environment, NASA Harvest partners from Stanford's  Center on Food Security and the Environment,  as well as a colleague from One Acre Fund in Rwanda, illustrate how they used  Sentinel  Earth observations and  Google Earth Engine (GEE)  to build “wall-to-wall” high-resolution maize maps for the 2017 season in Kenya and Tanzania.