Scientists develop high-tech crop map

Mar 10, 2011

AgroAtlas is a new interactive website that shows the geographic distributions of 100 crops; 640 species of crop diseases, pests, and weeds; and 560 wild crop relatives growing in Russia and neighboring countries. Downloadable maps and geographic information system (GIS) software are also available, allowing layering of data, such as that relating major wheat production areas to concentrations of Russian wheat aphids.

According to U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Stephanie Greene, the impetus behind developing AgroAtlas was to promote world food security, particularly in Newly Independent States-countries of the former Soviet Union striving to broaden their agricultural base. Greene works in the National Temperate Forage Legume Genetic Resources Unit operated at Prosser, Wash., by the Agricultural Research Service (ARS), USDA's principal intramural scientific research agency.

Greene leads the AgroAtlas project with Alexandr N. Afonin, a senior scientist with St. Petersburg State University in Russia. The Internet-based map is the successful result of a proposal they submitted in 2003 for funding under a program coordinated by the ARS Office of International Research Programs (OIRP) in Beltsville, Md., and supported by the U.S. Department of State.

In September 2010, the two researchers joined their colleagues to host the first of a series of 10-day workshops in St. Petersburg teaching the use of GIS software to scientists and students from former Soviet states. OIRP also awarded scholarships supporting travel and lodging expenses for 20 students to learn about AgroAtlas and GIS software. They, in turn, were to return to their institutes to train others.

Demonstrations of AgroAtlas include showing where in Crimea, a major wine-producing region, U.S. can be successfully grown, as well as the distribution of major wheat diseases in the North Caucasus region according to agroclimatic zones. Greene notes AgroAtlas also has potential to aid in the detection and identification of insect pests, pathogens or weeds that have entered-or could enter-the United States from Russia or neighboring countries.

Explore further: Salmon forced to 'sprint' less likely to survive migration

More information: Read more about this research in the March 2011 issue of Agricultural Research magazine. www.ars.usda.gov/is/AR/archive/mar11/atlas0311.htm

Provided by United States Department of Agriculture

not rated yet
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

ARS Plant Collections Help Safeguard Crops

Jan 06, 2010

(PhysOrg.com) -- In the months ahead, Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientists plan to collect walnuts from Kyrgyzstan, grasses from Russia, and carrots and sunflowers from fields across the Southeastern ...

Summer fallow stores water in central great plains

Jan 12, 2011

Storing just one inch of water in an acre of soil is worth $25 to $30 per acre. That gets the attention of Central Great Plains farmers served by U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) researchers.

Benefits of planting winter canola examined

Oct 12, 2010

Winter canola might soon be the crop of choice for Pacific Northwest farmers, thanks to research by U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) scientists and their partners. The multitasking annual plant can be used to control ...

Cleaning the Chesapeake Bay from space

Aug 31, 2010

(PhysOrg.com) -- A pilot test of an innovative use of new remote sensing technologies to aid the Chesapeake Bay cleanup begins this year in Talbot County, Md., on the Bay's Eastern Shore.

Crops and Weeds: Climate Change's First Responders

Nov 11, 2009

(PhysOrg.com) -- A team of Agricultural Research Service (ARS) plant physiologists is studying how global climate change could affect food crop production--and prompt the evolution of even more resilient weeds.

Recommended for you

Genetically tracking farmed fish escaping into the wild

19 hours ago

European sea product consumption is on the rise. With overfishing being a threat to the natural balance of the ocean, the alternative is to turn to aquaculture, the industrial production of fish and seafood. ...

France fights back Asian hornet invader

22 hours ago

They slipped into southwest France 10 years ago in a pottery shipment from China and have since invaded more than half the country, which is fighting back with drones, poisoned rods and even chickens.

Tide turns for shark fin in China

22 hours ago

A sprawling market floor in Guangzhou was once a prime location for shark fin, one of China's most expensive delicacies. But now it lies deserted, thanks to a ban from official banquet tables and a celebrity-driven ...

Manatees could lose their endangered species status

Aug 19, 2014

About 2,500 manatees have perished in Florida over the last four years, heightening tension between conservationists and property owners as federal officials prepare to decide whether to down-list the creature to threatened ...

User comments : 0