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NDVI and satellite crop monitoring

The use of technology in agriculture has become the norm of modern agriculture. It is the new way to improve production while at the same time reducing the cost involved. Normally, the use of the right technology in agriculture will guarantee the best results, but of course depending on a variety of factors. One of the challenges that many farmers have is the ability to determine the best inputs needed in a given area, as well as monitoring the growth of crops. Technology, through remote sensing abilities has made it crop health monitoring easy. This article provides an in-depth overview of how you can use technology to monitor the health of your crops.

Crop monitoring

Various remote sensing techniques are commonly used nowadays in providing information about land cover, as well as the condition of the land in terms of resources. Additionally, other remote sensing techniques such as satellite imageries play a significant role considering the rapid changes in landscape following the adoption of large scale development in agriculture. With the application of the appropriate remote sensing techniques, you are able to capture information on changes in the growth of plants be it structural or chlorophyll changes. As such, some of the approaches you can adopt in this case include the use of airborne and satellite images for the purpose of classifying crops, examining their viability and health, as well as monitoring the farming practices.

There are significant benefits associated with the identification and mapping of crops. Usually, the primary objective of such a farming practice is to ensure the preparation of an effective inventory of what is growing in a specific area, as well as the time it is growing. As such, the main activities revolve around the identification of the types of crops, and demarcating their coverage in terms of acres. Traditionally, farmers used methods such as ground surveying and census to obtain such information. Remote sensing can be used in the provision of strategies to collect common data and extract the relevant information on crop health.

The use of remote sensing techniques of crop monitoring can help in getting reliable information on the condition of the seedlings, and the trend and status of the crop growth. Additionally, such an approach is necessary in the acquisition of information on crop production. It is advisable to acquire crop growth conditions and status during the early stages of the growing season as opposed to getting the production information after you are harvested your crops. The reason for such early consideration is the fact that you get the chance to make the right policies and decisions about price, distribution and storage of your yield.

Use of NDVI and satellite maps in crop monitoring

There are different models that you can use to monitor the condition of your crops. For example, direct monitoring models are used to analyze the condition of the crops based on provided direct remote sensing indices such as Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI). Usually, such models are easy to adopt since they require less data.

NDVI maps are use in the collection of information on the variability of the health of crops; identification of the possible areas where the crops are poor; establish the development status of pants; detect problem areas for the purpose of timely decisions. Such maps are useful in that they clearly indicate the differences in the growth of vegetation in a given area. Usually, NDVI values have a strong correlation with respect to the stages of crop growth and hence, it is an ideal way of determining the health of crops within the growing period.

NDVI has a number of applications including crop monitoring, variable rate applications, yield estimation, and scouting. Often, scouting maps are used to guide farmers on the variations in the field for making the appropriate decision on what preventive and corrective measures to adopt. Crop monitoring, on the other hand, uses NDVI maps to monitor crops’ growth with the aim of detecting any anomalies within the crop season.

Methodology for crop health monitoring

The quantity of yield that you get from a given farm is depended on the amount as well as the timing of rainfall. Other important factors that influence the yield to expect in a given farming season include the quantity of fertilizers, sources of seeds, speed of wind, sunshine, and temperatures. The right satellite images can be useful in the assessment of the crop vigor especially during the growth period of crops. Normally, different crops tend to have different cycle of growth which implies variation in crop vigor. NDVI values are used in the examination of the growth of plant. Any changes in the NDVI values for a given crop raise concerns regarding certain areas of the farmland. Nevertheless, such data becomes highly useful when analyzed with respect to the GIS’ administrative boundaries and used in the assessment of real ground conditions that prevail in a given area.

Evidently, NDVI and satellite techniques and other remote sensing approaches are great in the monitoring of the growth of crops. They offer a great option to identifying areas that need attention concerning in terms of poor health of the crops. If used for scouting normalized difference vegetation index can offer insights into areas that require attention as such maps shows sections of the field where vegetation is growing well in comparison to the others. Such information is necessary in making appropriate decisions that are aimed at improving the health of crops, as well as the productivity of a given field. Therefore, it is advisable to employ the right techniques of identification, mapping and monitoring crops. Such a practice will help you prepare an effective inventory of what is growing in a specific area, as well as the time it is growing; and help you make the right decisions based on the health of your crops.




One comment

  1. The challenge has been getting the right combination of resolution and high rates of data capture over large areas. Satellites generally provide 1 m resolution at best and drones cover small areas with higher resolution. We provide resolution of 10 cm at 45 cents per acre and can go to 5 cm. This refines NDVI to useful and affordable.

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