The Taiwan Agricultural Research Institute said it can now make in-season predictions of harvest yields for rice crops based on satellite imaging technology, and is working on ways to apply the science to other types of crops such as cabbage and lettuce.
The traditional methods of estimating rice yields are conducted by measuring randomly selected patches of rice, the institute said on Thursday last week.
The methods calculate yields by township to estimate a nationwide yield, requiring significant amounts of time and resources, it said, adding that such methods only provide yield estimates for the previous year.
Photo courtesy of the Taiwan Agricultural Research Institute
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 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 (劉滄棽) said 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.
The average growth cycle of a rice crop is about five months from seeding to harvest, and the institute is usually able to estimate the expected yield in the third month, Liu said.
Other algorithms are introduced to factor in the possible loss of crops from pest damage, he added.
The institute is looking to use this method of yield calculation on other crop types, such as lettuce, cabbage, sorghum and corn, he said.
Such analysis from satellite images could be applied to other industries, the institute said.
The system could also be used to develop precision agriculture, such as helping farmers manage different crops, the amount of water the crops need and what kind of fertilizer should be used, along with other suggestions, it said.
The system could also provide important data that could be used by the government to ensure the production of sufficient food crops, allocation of water and management of agricultural ecological systems, it added.
UNDER WATCH: Taiwan will have to establish a standardized nucleic acid testing method to identify the virus and monitor its spread, the CDC said The Langya henipavirus, which can be transmitted from animals to humans, has been discovered in China, with 35 human infections reported so far, Taiwan’s Centers for Disease Control (CDC) said, adding that the nation would establish a nucleic acid testing method to identify the virus. A study titled “A Zoonotic Henipavirus in Febrile Patients in China” that was published in the New England Journal of Medicine on Thursday said that a new henipavirus associated with a fever-causing human illness was identified in China. The study said an investigation identified 35 patients with acute infection of the Langya henipavirus in China’s Shandong
BILINGUAL PLAN: The 17 educators were recruited under a program that seeks to empower Taiwanese, the envoy to the Philippines said The Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in the Philippines on Thursday hosted a send-off event for the first group of English-language teachers from the country who were recruited for a Ministry of Education-initiated program to advance bilingual education in Taiwan. The 14 teachers and three teaching assistants are part of the Taiwan Foreign English Teacher Program, which aims to help find English-language instructors for Taiwan’s public elementary and junior-high schools, the office said. Seventy-seven teachers and 11 teaching assistants from the Philippines have been hired to teach in Taiwan in the coming school year, office data showed. Among the first group is 57-year-old
‘ORDINARY PEOPLE’: A man watching Taiwanese military drills said that there would be nothing anyone could do if the situation escalates in the Taiwan Strait Many people in Taiwan look upon China’s military exercises over the past week with calm resignation, doubting that war is imminent and if anything, feeling pride in their nation’s determination to defend itself. After a visit to Taiwan last week by US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi, China has sent ships and aircraft across an unofficial buffer between Taiwan and China’s coast and missiles over Taipei and into waters surrounding the nation since Thursday last week. However, Rosa Chang, proudly watching her son take part in Taiwanese military exercises that included dozens of howitzers firing shells into the Taiwan Strait off
Police have detained a Taoyuan couple suspected of over the past two months colluding with human trafficking rings and employment scammers in Southeast Asia to send nearly 100 Taiwanese jobseekers to Cambodia. At a media briefing in Taipei yesterday, the Criminal Investigation Bureau presented items seized from the couple, including alleged victims’ passports, forged COVID-19 vaccination records, mobile phones, bank documents, checks and cash. The man, surnamed Tsai (蔡), and his girlfriend, surnamed Tsan (詹), were taken into custody last month, after police at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport stopped four jobseekers from boarding a flight to Phnom Penh, said Dustin Lee (李泱輯),