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131 / 146

Release no:

78-52

Page 2

The major foreign study areas were Canada and the Soviet

Union, with preliminaryexaminationof wheat-growingareas of

Australia,the People's Republicof China, Brazil, India and

Argentina. The U.S. Great Plains was used extensivelyto test and

evaluate the several techniquessince it was the best source of

statisticaldata with a known reliability.

The LACIE techniqueswere intendedto enhance the accuracy

of existing global wheat productionforecastsby improvingforeign

productionforecastsand to do so as early in the crop season as

possible. The accuracy goal set by the project was to develop a

system which would provide estimatesaccuratewithin l0 percent of

the true productionin 9 years out of 10.

_iIntests over the winter wheat area of the Great Plains

it was determinedthat the accuracy goal could be met. When the

techniqueswere used to monitor the Soviet wheat crop harvested in

1977, the LACIE produceda productionestimateof 91.4 million metric

tons, less than one percent below the officialmark of 92.0 million

tons releasedby the Soviets. However,the capabilityto achieve such

accuracyfrom year to year has yet to be demonstrated.

The findingswere presentedto the four-dayOctober symposium

by the LACIE participants: NASA, the Departmentof Agriculture (USDA),

the NationalOceanic and AtmosphericAdministration(NOAA) of the

Departmentof Commerceand cooperatinguniversitiesand industry.

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