The Essential Agriculture Variables articulated under GEOGLAM Agriculture Indicator Category “Agronomic Management” merit their own discussion for three reasons:
- There are as many management practices as there are farmers under the sun. As such, creating an inclusive list is beyond the scope of GEOGLAM.
- We do not want to give a false impression that GEOGLAM only considers certain Agronomic Management variables to be “essential” - and thus, we have moved them to their own section.
- The biophysical “footprint” of an agronomic decision usually requires more contextual information in order to be adequately mapped. Similarly, the environmental and economic impacts of the management practices - often the reason why questions are asked about these variables at all - are highly contingent upon “nuances” in timing, degree, implements used, and , none of which are easily resolved using remote sensing.
- With such varied practices and such various purposes, it is virtually impossible to create a single definition for management variables that will be “fit for purpose.”
- Still, certain management practices are of critical policy and market relevance, particularly in the context of UNFCCC stocktake of emissions from Agriculture, Forestry, and Other Land Uses (AFOLU) and Scope 3 emissions reductions; and, at the same time, remote sensing data is being increasingly operationalized for quantification of agricultural management practices as they relate to net ecosystem exchange (carbon balance), methane and nitrous oxide emissions, and broader nutrient cycling. Therefore, GEOGLAM aims to acknowledge here the growing remote-sensing based work on identifying a few key management practices that are highly incentivized, politicized, and financialized (as of May 2022).