SERVIR Develops Tool for Assessing Agricultural Practices
In SERVIR regions, agricultural measures such as irrigation, improved fertilization, and advanced cultivars have the potential to increase food security and ensure climate resilience.
However, to broaden support for such activities, environmental managers must be able to assess their impact. Because field data for estimating the impact of agricultural practices is often difficult to obtain, decisions about using them are often made based on limited information.
SERVIR has developed a user-friendly, web-based tool called AgriSERV that provides two important satellite datasets together in one system to help decision-makers in SERVIR’s data-sparse regions assess the impact of agriculture interventions.
With this tool, development practitioners, scientists/researchers, and government decision-makers can visualize and download vegetation condition data and historical rainfall data. The specific datasets providing the basis for analysis are eMODIS Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) and Climate Hazards Group InfraRed Precipitation with Station data (CHIRPS) rainfall data.
Vegetation health is a good indicator of crop vigor, and several studies have connected changes in satellite-derived vegetation indices to crop yields and the length of growing season. By analyzing the vegetation index data along with a rainfall dataset, areas with and without intervention can be compared and analyzed to assess the impacts of the intervention strategy and identify similar areas where the same strategy could be used.
With AgriSERV, users draw (delineate) two areas of interest: one control area with no intervention and another area that has experienced intervention. Then they specify a time period ranging back to the year 2000, and perform an on-demand comparative analysis. The user is presented with side-by-side charts and summary data that highlight the differences of the two areas in terms of vegetation health, derived growing season lengths, and rainfall. The analysis is based on an area weighted average of the gridded NDVI and rainfall data. The users can download the summary data table as well as the full dataset for the period specified.
“AgriSERV is a great example of how SERVIR cloud services can be leveraged to assist in on-demand analysis for specific interests,” notes Lee Ellenburg, a SERVIR Regional Science Coordination Lead. “This application takes process-heavy analysis and makes it available to a much wider audience.”
This article was originally posted on SERVIR's website on September 9, 2016.