The Growing Forward agricultural policy framework is a commitment to Canada's agriculture sector that focuses on achieving results. One of its three objectives is to be proactive in managing risks. Soil moisture is a critical variable for agricultural production, with wet or dry extremes imposing a risk to seeding, crop growth and harvest activities. Through the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) Government Related Initiatives Program (GRIP), Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) is developing methods and data sets to monitor soil moisture conditions in Canada at various scales using active and passive microwave data sets. Using the AMSR-E C- and X- band passive microwave sensor, a soil moisture anomaly dataset has been developed to track weekly soil moisture extremes in Canadian agricultural regions from 2002 to the present. This system of anomaly estimation based on Earth Observation (EO) data is currently being adapted to incorporate L-Band data from the Soil Moisture and Ocean Salinity (SMOS) EO mission. Through collaboration with NASA and CSA, AAFC is also working on preparing this monitoring prototype for data from the Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) EO mission. Ongoing research within AAFC will link estimation of passive microwave surface soil moisture anomalies to field scale estimates of soil moisture from SAR sensors, including Radarsat-2 and integrating this information with in situ sensor networks. Ultimately these will inform yield forecast models to track crop production over the growing season.
Surface wetness anomaly over the Prairies (June 7 to June 13 2010) made with AMSR-E data. This EO product has been generated by AAFC through the CSA GRIP program. Credits: AAFC, 2011.
About CSA-EOAU SMOS related activities: