It is no secret that there is a strong need for increased agricultural production given the increase expected in population around the globe. There are finite agriculture resources and growers are expected to produce more with less. The need for improved management practices is acute. In order to implement improved practices reliable, timely, and actionable data is required. Enter in-season on-demand aerial imagery.
Aerial imagery is used by consultants (CCAs, scouts, agronomists), cooperatives, and agriculture service providers to assist in calculating the economic differences between the “good” and “bad” crop condition zones enabling improved management decisions. Often times, determining crop health without the “bird’s eye view” from aerial imagery is difficult.
One of the main image types to determine crop health is the Near Infrared (NIR) image. The NIR is most effective to determine the vegetative health of the crop as the other imagery bands (Red, Blue, Green) are “absorbed” by the plant to create food.
The NIR band used in conjunction with the red band is utilized to create a vegetation index commonly called a Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI).
The NDVI provides quantitative information on the health of the crop in the field. The green colored zones have the most robust and volume of vegetation while the yellow and red zones represent less vegetation. This information can be used to make management decisions on the application of inputs like fertilizer and fungicide.
To find out more about utilizing aerial imagery to determine crop health just drop us an email or call us directly at (319) 361-7868.