Week 3 provided 7 days of much needed sunshine allowing for a study-site-wide dry down of soils and a significant increase in crop growth. Field crews were able to collect vegetation samples twice and soil moisture measurements four times!
At the half way point ag-land ground staff have successfully acquired soil moisture data at over 400 fields and an equally impressive nearly 150 biomass sites. The hard working forestry team have completed their non-destructive sampling and will begin their destructive sampling in week 4. The structure team is on track to visit each of their sites six times or more and have captured the early development of all crop types nicely, especially this past week.
With many team members here for the entire first half of the SMAPVEX campaign some nicknames for specific fields have begun to evolve. Fields 102 and 103 are known to be very difficult to walk through due to high saturation levels and have been dubbed “Nightmare Beans”. For their surprising plant height and density, fields 124 and 125 are affectionately known as “Mutant Canola” (see photo). And any and all wheat fields don’t have a name just yet but their heavy dew provides staff with an unanticipated shower first thing in the morning!