Team Location: NASA Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC), Huntsville, Alabama
Authors: Claire Herdy, University of Alabama, Huntsville; Eli Hodges, University of Georgia.
Advisors/Mentors: Dr. Jeff Luvall, NASA Marshall Space Flight Center, GHCC Global Hydrology and Climate Center; Dr. Richard McNider, UA-Huntsville, Earth System Science Center; Cameron Handyside, UA-Huntsville, Earth System Science Center; Lee Ellenburg, UA-Huntsville, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering.
Abstracts: Alabama agriculture relies mainly on rain-fed irrigation. Unfortunately, the majority of rainfall for a given year does not historically correlate with the growing season. This leaves Alabama farmers subject to drought and loss in revenue. In 2011, the U.S. Department of Agriculture listed 11 counties as primary disaster areas due to losses caused by droughts. An investment in irrigation in the region is an environmentally sound solution to the increasing demand on U.S. food systems. Recent research has indicated that a crop model such as GriDSSAT, using NASA’s data products as inputs, can aid in predicting crop yields, understanding crop stress, and determining the viability of irrigation systems. The model’s accuracy can be tested comparing model yields and historical yields. Alabama farmers will be able to use NASA EOS products easily and with confidence through the confirmed GriDSSAT model.