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Robert Tetrault

Deputy Director, USDA FAS-IPAD

How I work with Harvest

Bob and his team are responsible for the World Agricultural Production published by USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service, Office of Global Analysis. This publication updates the food, feed and fiber supply information for 99 countries and 14 field crops (wheat, corn, barley, oats, rye, sorghum, rice, soybean, peanut, sunflowerseed, rapeseed, copra, palm oil, and cotton). The World Agricultural Production is updated monthly and published in conjunction with USDA’s World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates and USDA’s Production Supply and Distribution database. Bob is the Deputy Director of the International Production Assessment division (IPAD), the group responsible for foreign agricultural crop condition assessment. IPAD uses the ‘all source’ methodology to estimate crop production using data sources such as FAS’ global network of agricultural attachés, global weather data, soil moisture models and satellite imagery. 

Earth observation for agriculture spans the available resolutions from NASA’s MODIS to Landsat-class to commercial high resolution. IPAD also incorporates radar, microwave, and altimeter data into our agricultural assessment. IPAD’s decision-support system, and its direct connection to decision making at USDA, has led to new and innovative products from USDA’s Agricultural Research Service (ARS), NASA, NOAA, USGS and leading commercial companies. These crop assessment products can be found on Crop Explorer.

Biography

Dr. Tetrault is new to management at USDA. He previously estimated crop production for Brazil and Central America and has over twenty years’ experience in the application of remote sensing technology to agriculture in both the government and private sector. Bob is local to the Washington DC area; he has a degree in Botany from the University of Maryland.