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About CROPCAST (Ag Weather)

Since 1976, MDA has been providing daily agricultural weather forecasts for agribusiness customers around the world through the use of space age technologies. MDA has accumulated seventeen years of calibrated data which has made it possible to continually increase forecast accuracies for agricultural weather.

Accurate and timely information on worldwide food production supports the global marketplace and humanitarian concerns of governments and food relief organizations. Earth orbiting satellites make it possible to continuously monitor the world's food supplies. Sophisticated computer models using data from these satellites can accurately forecast local yields and worldwide production weeks before harvest.

Since 1976, MDA EarthSat Weather has been providing daily agricultural commodity forecasts to customers around the world through the use of space age technologies. MDA has accumulated seventeen years of calibrated data which has made it possible to continually increase forecast accuracies. The accuracy of these pre-harvest forecasts is remarkable; estimates produced four to six weeks before harvest have been within two to three percent of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's year-end production reports published months after harvest.

One of the unique aspects of MDA's approach to crop forecasting is the compilation of high quality precipitation data for incorporation into physiologically based yield forecast models. The MDA Agricultural Rainfall Estimation System is superior to other commercial systems offered because the MDA system includes:

  1. quality checking the world meteorological organization station data
  2. supplementing missing station data in critical crop areas with satellite derived rainfall estimates
  3. integrating station rain reports with satellite rainfall estimates

The MDA system is different from other agro-meteorological modeling approaches in its use of meteorological satellite data to gain a description of the total spatial variance of the weather factors that affect crop production. The evaluation of timely weather information, i.e., at six-hour and 24-hour periods, provides the temporal assessment of weather/plant relationships relating to the specific plant growth stage.


The MDA system is well suited to estimating crop production anywhere in the world for the following reasons:

1. It provides a detailed diagnosis of the specific meteorological condition in the crop growing zones through the application of an integrated use of the combination of meteorological satellite/radar data and ground observations.

2. It maintains an internal clock which defines the growth stage (GS) of the plant measured from planting.

3. It contains a subsystem which integrates crop condition assessments for evaluating yield factors, such as pests, technological changes, etc., not evaluated in the physiological model process.


MDA's real-time worldwide agricultural information and projections are available through direct computer access and facsimile. Daily, weekly, and monthly reports are faxed to all clients. Forecast accuracies exceed 97 percent and are available weeks before government statistics. MDA's features include:

  • Weather Forecasts and Maps
  • Global Weather Data Base
  • Satellite/Station Soil Moisture
  • Crop Condition Analyses, and Rain Estimates
  • Yield and Production Estimates
  • Supply/Demand Forecasts
  • Price Forecasts
  • Special Advisories
  • Special Satellite Observational
  • Studies
  • Unlimited Telephone Consultation
  • Customized GIS weather data, analysis and web services