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Imagery Technology and Plant Inspection

Recently, researchers from a university in China developed an imaging system that is designed to monitor the condition and health of crops in the greenhouse. This intelligent agricultural equipment is believed to go a long way in saving growers time and a significant amount of money since it provides plants with fertilizer and water at the signs of any distress. The equipment can be used unmanned and remotely while monitoring crops. The intelligent equipment has an imaging system that detects fluorescence emitted from chlorophyll. The chlorophyll that is observed and the process of photosynthesis that is performed gives insight into the health and growth of plants.

Crop Imagery shows crop health and general performance across a piece of a farm at a single point in time. A divergent scale of colors, red-yellow-green provides a contrast of colors, making it easy for farmers to spot and investigate areas showing poor growth.

What farmers can find during such imagery operations, before fixing it include:-

  • Nutrient Deficiency
  • Moisture Stress
  • Soil Compaction
  • Equipment Pass Overlaps/Gaps
  • Equipment Configuration Errors
  • Clogged Nozzles
  • Herbicide Injury
  • Insect Damage
  • Nitrogen Stress
  • Disease

Key Benefits of Imagery in checking Crop Health

Remote sensing, and imagery is quickly becoming a means to understand and interrogate the earth’s surface.

  1. Helps you identify the root of the problem before you harvest.

Imagery helps in identifying the differences in yields and gives you a chance to identify and investigate the main cause of the problem. Satellite imageries point the exact potential problem and give the farmer time to find out the source of the crop disease.

  1. Fast and efficient

Traditionally imagery technology was accessible to only farmers who had, or afforded to rent a plane or through paying for certain specific satellite images of their farms. This implied that the majority of the farmers had to make important farming decisions and choices from the ground only. This is highly inefficient. Currently, a drone which has a high definition camera piece costs as little as $150.

Basically, this allows farmers to assess their crops visually from above – that image is more than a picture of them. This provides a cheap avenue, which is an effective way of managing farms from the sky.

  1. Critical for large farms

On a larger scale, these images are very critical as any disease can be identified and treated before it spreads and destroys the whole produce. Taking photos on large farms are more convenient and cost-effective. It reduces the number of human resources that would have otherwise been employed there to check every single crop.

  1. Real-Time addressing of problems

Imagery technology allows real-time monitoring of crops health and providing farmers with the problems to be addressed as they evolve.

  1. Images give solid scientific feedback and trends

Crop monitoring via images can keep track of transitions and changes over time. A good example is if the temperatures are giving the tendencies to rise in the global which will affect the health of crops adversely. The images that will be mapped to show the effects of warm, and dry climate on the farm. It will indicate if there will be a need for irrigation or not, and the best season to plant.

  1. Images can be stored, archived and used for future reference

Photos taken during the early season, mid-season, and end season can be used for future references and studies. These series of historical images of your farm can be helpful when looking at different time frames from previous years so that you can get a feel of how in different seasons crops should look like and the various diseases expected during several different seasons. Moreover, comparing different years helps you observe persistent trends.

  1. Saves Yields

Equipped with information from imageries, farmers can go out and scout for the less healthy crops and find out the reason why they are not performing as expected. The unhealthy area can be as a result of fungus, diseases, bugs, or the terrain. After the issues have been identified, steps can be taken to improve the health before they yield to save the situation. Research shows that images can detect crop threats a week before the naked eye could spot it. Once it is spotted, it implies that the damage has already occurred; therefore the images help in saving yields.


Field imageries should not be viewed just as ‘’pretty pictures’’. Such advancement should be a cure for economic and food problem to the world population. The value should be extracted from technological progress in farming; this is by strengthening the return on investment and improving efficiency. Conventional crop health monitoring may be highly time consuming and very categorical in nature.


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