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132 / 146

Release no:

78-52

Page 3

In other study areas such as the spring wheat regions of the

U.S. and Canada where long narrow fields are hard to distinguishand

where wheat can easily be confusedwith other spring-plantedcrops,

the accuracy goal was not met. Most importantly,however,LACIE

was able to determine the reasons for not meeting its goals in these

areas and to identifywhat would be needed to do so. Future satellites

with improvedresolutionshould allow smaller fields to be identified

with accuraciessimilar to that encounteredin the Soviet Union

where fields are typicallyquite large.

A peer evaluationteam composedof prominentscientistsand

chaired by Dr. Don Paarlberg,former Directorof Economics for USDA,

reviewed the LACIE techniquesand presentedtheir report at the sym-

posium. In the report, Dr. Paarlbergstated that, "LACIE results to

date clearly demonstratethat present remote-sensingcapabilities

can be combinedwith or substitutedfor conventionalmethods of

informationcollectionin order to improvecrop productionestimates."

He concludedthe evaluationof the results by saying, "... for global

wheat regions such as the U.S.S.R. the LACIE technologycan be made

operationaland that for regionswhere the technologyrequires improve-

ment, funding for further researchand developmentshould be continued."

NASA, USDA and NOAA which collectivelyprovidedthe many

differentskills necessaryto make LACIE a success are now defining

a follow-onactivity to extend the applicationof space-agetechnology

to agriculture.

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