BLOGS FROM THE FIELD
June 7, 2012Mike Cosh
USDA Agricultural Research Service
June 7th was our first day of soil moisture sampling in the SMAPVEX12 experiment after two days of training and rehearsal. Beginning at 6:45am, 13 soil moisture teams set out to record surface soil moisture at 59 fields. By 2pm, the teams had returned successfully measuring moistures at 53 fields.
Time constraints and field operations by farmers inhibited a full data set which often happens when working in an agricultural landscape. Strategic planning helps to offset these issues by sampling multiple fields on each flight line.
The fully mature winter wheat fields provided the toughest challenge for the samplers, while most of the other fields were just in the early stages of development, such as corn, soybeans, and canola. In the next few weeks these will grow several feet, providing a contrast for remote sensing and an obstacle for the ground samplers. Overall a very successful day...