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Supporting Canadian universities to improve sustainable agriculture

Canada is a major agricultural production country and plays an important role in the global agricultural market. In , the Canadian agriculture and agri-food sector generated $108.1 billion in revenues, accounting for 6.6% of Canada's gross domestic product. Earth observation satellites contribute to making the industry more efficient and better aligned with sustainable agricultural practices. They are used to identify crop types, assess their condition, estimate crop yields and determine soil characteristics. Farmers use this information to refine their practices. Governments use it to better understand agricultural production and formulate agricultural policy. Insurance companies use it to assess claims for crop damage or failure.

In , the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) issued a joint Announcement of Opportunity with its long-time partner Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) to address the perceived gap or future need for RADARSAT agriculture applications. Canadian universities and post-secondary institutions were invited to submit projects related to crop inventory, tillage, soil moisture and land cover that would use RADARSAT data to manage our agricultural lands effectively and sustainably.

As part of the CSA's Science and Operational Applications Research (SOAR) Program, the following universities were selected to receive a total of $800,435 to develop new applications and innovative technologies using imagery from Canada's RADARSAT-2 satellite:

The SOAR Program offers support to Canadian universities and post-secondary institutions for the training and development of highly qualified people in the field of applications using RADARSAT-2 data. As part of the six funded projects, 22 research students and technicians will be trained by the lead scientists and associate professors.

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