The Group on Earth Observations (a partnership of governments and international organizations) developed the Global Agricultural Monitoring (GEOGLAM) initiative in response to the growing calls for improved agricultural information. The goal of GEOGLAM is to strengthen the international community’s capacity to produce and disseminate relevant, timely and accurate forecasts of agricultural production at national, regional and global scales through the use of Earth Observations (EO), which include satellite and ground-based observations. This initiative is designed to build on existing agricultural monitoring programs and initiatives at national, regional and global levels and to enhance and strengthen them through international networking, operationally focused research, and data/method sharing.
Both GEOGLAM and AMIS were endorsed by the G20 Heads of States’ Declaration (Cannes, November, 2011), when GEOGLAM was tasked to "coordinate satellite monitoring observation systems in different regions of the world in order to enhance crop production projections and weather forecasting data." Within this framework, GEOGLAM developed the Crop Monitor reports, which provide global crop condition assessments in support of the AMIS market monitoring activities. The first issue of the Crop Monitor appeared in the September 2013 issue of the AMIS Market Monitor.
Objective and Approach
The objective of the Crop Monitor is to provide AMIS with an international and transparent multi-source, consensus assessment of crop growing conditions, status, and agro-climatic conditions, likely to impact global production. This activity covers the four primary crop types (wheat, maize, rice, and soy) within the main agricultural producing regions of the AMIS countries. These assessments have been produced operationally since September 2013 and are published in the AMIS Market Monitor Bulletin. The Crop Monitor reports provide cartographic and textual summaries of crop conditions as of the 28th of each month, according to crop type.
Within the first issues of the crop monitor, the crop condition maps were based on the EO-derived Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) depicting crop growth anomalies. Starting in the May 2014 issue, GEOGLAM is releasing a more informative set of maps and pie charts that depict crop stage, crop conditions by region, and climatic drivers affecting these conditions.