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Researchers Develop NASA Dashboard to Monitor Pandemic’s Effect on Global Agriculture

To better analyze COVID-19’s global impact on agricultural production and food security, University of Maryland researchers have led the creation of the new NASA Harvest COVID-19 Dashboard.

Its primary goal is to provide supply-chain information that will facilitate analysis of the pandemic’s effects on crop production, market price volatility, food availability and rapidly evolving policy changes.

The easy-to-navigate interactive dashboard provides academics, economists, citizen scientists and other analysts with access to a vast amount of agricultural-related data in the context of COVID-19. Uses for the dashboard range from monitoring crop production on a national scale from before the start of the pandemic to understanding the changing cost of commodity crops in agricultural markets over time.

The dashboard allows users to search for datasets published by partners and affiliate institutions as well as other datasets relevant to agricultural monitoring and food security. This tool can be freely accessed from any web browser and data can be downloaded, visualized, and analyzed from one convenient location.

Development was led by co-principal investigators Assistant Research Professor Mike Humber and Associate Research Professor Inbal Becker-Reshef, the NASA Harvest Program director, along with co-investigator Estefania Puricelli, head software developers John Keniston, Antonio Sanchez and the rest of the Harvest team at UMD.

Understanding global food systems in terms of production, logistics, economics, and policy is and always has been a challenge. COVID-19 has highlighted how important it is to really understand the relationships between these different facets of the agricultural supply chain, and a big part of that is bringing together the data,” Humber said.

Read the full news release on the College of Behavioral and Social Sciences’ home page.

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