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EU satellite images boost Taiwan crop yield data

According to the Taiwan Agricultural Research Institute, it can now make in-season predictions of harvest yields for rice crops based on satellite imaging technology. Work is being done on ways to apply the science to other types of crops such as cabbage and lettuce.

Climate change and its effects - evidenced by recent water shortages that forced Taiwan to temporarily cease irrigating fields - has demonstrated that the country can no longer rely on previous methods to estimate crop yields, the institute said.

The new analytical methods will allow the institute to calculate yields from more than 120,000 hectares of rice paddies across western Taiwan in less than two months, it said, adding that the method is capable of calculating individual yields per paddy.

Institute member Liu Tsang-shen told that free satellite images released by the EU each week are utilized to make such calculations, adding that the institute is also consulting crop yield data from previous years.

Image source: Taiwan Agricultural Research Institute

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