A P P LIe
A T ION
0 T ESE
Frederic A. Vogel
Statistical Research Division
Notional Agricultural Statistics Service
U.S. Deportment of Agriculture, USA
The National Agricultural
Statistics Service's strategy
for using remote sensing for
estimating crop areas is that remote sensing is another method of data collection that can
supplement the existing data collection system, but not replace it.
To improve crop
the two data collection systems through
rigorous statistical methodology and by developing resource effective techniques.
This paper provides an overview of applications of remote sensing methodology and its
strengths and weaknessesfor measuring land cover.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture
(USDA) has a long-term program of research,
testing, and evaluation of aerospace remote sensing to meet data and
information needs about land use and crop production.
An integral part of the USDA's
statistical program as administered by the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS)
is to provide accurate and timely estimates of crop areas under production.
is used by farmers and agribusin~ss to mak~ marketing and production
is also required by policymakers when making decisions
affecting the national economy.
The USDA, other Federal agencies, and State governments also have important
responsibilities in land and forestry management and land use planning. The loss of prime
land, increased urbanization, deforestation, and environmental
pollution are concerns facing the Nation.
the importance of agricultural
exports to the U.S. economy make information on global crop production necessary for
marketing and policy decisions.
USDA in cooperation with other Federal and State agencies uses information
different satellites. The primary source of such data has been from the Landsat satellite's