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.