Planet Labs Wins U.S. Contract for Satellite Data to Study Crops
(Bloomberg) -- The U.S. Department of Agriculture is tapping a California satellite imaging company to see if its higher resolution data can help the government agency better assess crops for this year’s growing season.
The USDA’s National Agriculture Statistics Service signed a deal with Planet Labs Inc. to integrate the firm’s high resolution satellite data into its systems to help assess crops and evaluate enhanced disaster response observations, the closely held San Francisco-based company said Monday in a statement.
Accurate data can help farmers and companies focused on agriculture make informed decisions about crop management, marketing and logistical operations, as well as help ensure a sustainable food supply and manage risk, according to the statement. The USDA department has been using satellite data since 2007 to investigate crop progress and conditions and create production statistics throughout the growing season.
Planet’s data provide “a frequent and high-resolution solution for agricultural modeling as farming becomes an increasingly data and technology driven process,” Rick Mueller, section head of the NASS’s Spatial Analysis Research Section, said in a statement. “With Planet’s robust dataset integrated into our workflow, NASS can better understand and quantify trends in upcoming growing seasons, identify regions prone to drought stress and natural disasters, and provide high resolution assessments of crop production.”
Planet, founded in 2010 by three NASA scientists, provides data, insights and software services to more than 600 clients in industries including agriculture and forestry as well as for government agencies. The firm said last month it’s combining with dMY Technology Group Inc. IV, a special purpose acquisition company, to become a publicly traded firm as part of deal that values the company at about $2.8 billion.
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