1. To maintain and improve the MARS Crop Yield Forecasting System (MCYFS), databases (Meteorological, Agro-Phenology) and software (Control Board, new release of CGMS);
2. To maintain, improve the content of the MARS-OP web site, to foster the use of the site and give support to the users of the information;
3. To initiate a Pasture Monitoring System;
4. To implement the new soil database into the Crop Growth Monitoring System;
5. To organize training courses and workshop for stakeholders of the MARS Crop Yield Forecasting System;
6. To give support to Eurostat and DG-AGRI in relation to the EC agriculture statistics activities: i.e. Agromet system and Lucas survey.
Anticipated milestones and schedule 1.1 Reports and forecasts on Pan European Crop Yield - 6 Bulletins + ad-hoc Bulletin on request. (from February to November). 1.2 Report on methodologies and quality assessment of the MARS Crop Yield Forecasting System - 1 (1st semester). 1.3 Study report on Pasture - 1 report (first semester). 2.1 Updated and New Database, software, web site, pilot products (from January to December). 2.2 Study report on Crop parameters on Candidate Countries (1st semester). 3.1 Pilot-Operational Pasture Monitoring System (2nd semester). 4.1 New release of CGMS (1st semester and 2nd semester. 5.1 Training courses and workshop. 4 in total, 1 first semester; 3 second semester. 6.1 Participation to Eurostat working groups and DG-AGRI Outlook meetings. (February, April, June, July, October, November).
1.1 Reports and forecasts on Pan European Crop Yield - 6 Bulletins + ad-hoc Bulletin on request;
1.2 Report on methodologies and quality assessment of the MARS Crop Yield Forecasting System - 1.
1.3 Study report on Pasture - 1 report;
2.1 Updated and New Database, software, web site, pilot products;
2.2 Study report on Crop parameters on Candidate Countries - 1 report;
3.1 Pilot-Operational Pasture Monitoring System;
4.1 New release of CGMS;
5.1 Training courses and workshops;
6.1 Participation to Eurostat working groups and DG-AGRI Outlook meetings.
Summary of the Action:
The MARS (Monitoring Agriculture with Remote Sensing)-Stat action contributes to improve the Community's statistical tool for managing and monitoring the common agriculture policy. Since 1993 the MARS-Stat in order to provide timely crop production forecasts at European level, has been developing and operationally running a Crop Forecasting System. This system is able to monitor crop vegetation growth and include the short-term effects of meteorological events on crop productions and to provide yearly forecasts on European crop prodctions. The MARS-Stat system is made of remote sensing and meteorological observations, agro-meteorological modelling (Crop Growth Monitoring System, CGMS) and statistical analysis tools. Besides MARS-Stat is the depositary of techniques developed using remote sensing and area frame sampling at European level to estimate crop areas. In 2003 MARS-Stat will ensure the continuation of the operational activities as covered by Council Decision 1445/2000 and will develop new improvements for the Crop Yield Forecasting and Area Estimate System. This action will also participate in the Crop Growth Monitoring System Scientific Network and initiate an Agro-Phenological pan-European Network. The current system will be enlarged to fully cover the Candidate Countries area and to include pasture monitoring. In order to improve the communication and the results of the action, existing MARS-Stat web sites (e.g. MARS-OP) will be improved and training with stakeholders made. As part of the system capabilities and mission of MARS stat, the client Dg's will receive a support in improving statistical-related activities such as the Agromet system and Lucas survey.
Crop production statistics are usually provided by member states to Eurostat and DG-AGRI with a time lag of several months relatively to the harvest. This delay affects decision making in planning tools related to the CAP for the next year as the European view is missing. With the MARS-Stat Action CAP makers in DG-AGRI are provided with timely, independent crop yield forecasts at European and Member State level. The results of the MARS-Stat Action are used by DG-AGRI and DG ESTAT analysts to prepare food balance sheets estimates, thus for market analyses and decisions related to the CAP management of stocks, import/export, market and intervention, set aside decisions, budget preparation. The MARS-Stat action is the result the Co-decision Parliament Council number 1445/2000 on the application of area frame survey and remote sensing techniques to the agricultural statistics for the period 1999-2003. Article 1 of the decision specifically states the continuation of the agro-meteorological system being made operational. Besides the maintenance, operational run and analysis of the MARS-Stat system results, MARS-Stat guarantees scientific relevance, and timeliness of the support.