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Crop condition assessment program available from StatsCan

Statistics Canada has launched its Crop Condition Assessment Program (CCAP) for the 2008 growing season. The free web application provides information for cropland and pasture for the entire agricultural region of Canada.


June 11, 2008
By Statistics Canada

June 10, 2008

Statistics Canada's Crop Condition Assessment Program
(CCAP) is now 20 years old and has been launched for
the 2008 growing season. This free web application provides, on a
weekly basis, timely and objective cropland and pasture monitoring information
for the entire agricultural region of
Canada, along with a large portion of the
northern
United States. The unique data source used by
this application is satellite imagery that is received by Statistics Canada
every Monday afternoon beginning in early April until mid-October. Updates are
made to the CCAP web application within minutes after the reception of the
satellite data.

Current conditions are
compared with the 21 year average, which allows easy mapping of areas
under stress (for example: drought, flooding, snowstorms). Other products
include thematic maps and data in graph and tabular format for four types of
different geography layers, from the census agriculture region to the township
level. The whole 21-year historical database is also included in the
application.

New for 2008, and as
requested by several users, updates are completed on a 7-day cycle as opposed
to the 10-day cycle used in 2007. Also shown in the application is the
northern half of the
United States, which includes most of the Great Plains, allowing comparison of conditions
between the two countries and display of the continuity of various phenomena
through the border.

CCAP users include various
federal and provincial government departments, grain marketing agencies, crop
insurance companies, researchers, farm producers and the public at large.

Also included is an
experimental spring wheat yield forecast for the Canadian Prairies prepared in
July. This yield forecast model uses historical yield estimates and the current
satellite image data to forecast crop yields in near real-time.

Using
the 2008 CCAP application, it is evident that so far in 2008,
cropland and pasture conditions have been variable throughout the country.
After a drought in 2007, southern
Ontario saw above normal growing conditions
throughout April. However, mostly because of cool conditions, vegetation growth
slowed down in May. A large part of the Canadian Prairies has undergone a slow
start this spring. Poor crop growth is also apparent south of the border.

This application is unique
in Statistics Canada, combining state-of-the-art satellite remote sensing
technologies with geographic information systems and dynamic web mapping.

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, through the National Land and Water Information Service and
the National Agroclimate Information Service, has partnered with Statistics
Canada to provide the CCAP free of charge to the public. The Canada Centre for
Remote Sensing, Natural Resources Canada, has also contributed by providing
software for the processing of the input satellite data.

To visit the web application, go to (www26.statcan.ca/ccap/lang.htm).



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