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News, Publications & Announcements - Geo-Information

December 1996
Agrometeorological Crop Forecasting

Crop forecasting is the art of predicting crop yields (tons/ha) and production before the harvest actually takes place, typically a couple of months in advance. Several techniques can be used. What is described here is the approach used by FAO in national food security systems. Crop forecasting relies on computer programmes that describe the plant-environment interactions in quantitative terms. Such programmes are called "models", and they attempt to simulate plant-weather-soil interactions. They need, therefore, information and data on the most important factors that affect crop yields - the model inputs. After passing "through" the model, the inputs are converted to a number of outputs, such as maps of crop conditions and yields.

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