USDA's Risk Management Agency (RMA) has awarded four contracts to develop new risk management tools for pasture, rangeland and forage. The four contracts are:
New Plan for Pasture/Rangeland and Dryland Hay (Watts and Associates) will develop a viable risk management tool by employing a dual index consisting of a satellite based vegetative index and a proxy crop.
Temperature Constrained Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (Grazing Land Management Systems, Inc.), which utilizes data derived from satellite-based remote sensing imagery that will describe the seasonal growth dynamics of vegetation for target areas.
Seasonal Growth Constrained Rainfall Index (Grazing Land Management Systems, Inc.) is based on a combination of a weighted warm-season/cool-season indexing period and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration rainfall data system.
Precipitation Index (AgriLogic, Inc.), which will utilize a rainfall index based on a weighted average amount of precipitation during a particular time period at a particular weather station.
USDA hopes to offer the new products for either the 2006 or 2007 crop year.