Satellite crop monitoring has resulted in many developments in the agricultural industry. Among many other uses, satellite monitoring is suitable for precise weather forecast on your farm location based on concrete field coordinates. Along with other developments in remote sensing applications, data from satellite monitoring has become one of the critical sources of data in monitoring large-scale crop condition that is focusing on vegetation index analysis.
Usually, the vegetation images would show crop growth right from planting to harvest. The changes as the season goes on and all the abnormalities like soil compaction, dry areas or water problems, and weed patches can be identified. An orthorectified and georeferenced images can locate such problematic areas. The size of the area that is affected can be determined as well. The benefit of satellite crop monitoring and the vegetation control is beyond the human naked eyes. It can help the grower come up with an informed decision regarding the most feasible solutions affecting his farming activities.
Apart from highlighting problematic areas, satellite images can assist in monitoring the effectiveness of applied preventive and any corrective actions that a farmer can choose to implement. The reason why images are valued is that they act as early indicators of crop stress or projected yield. Early yield of farm produce will then inform the same grower of any marketing decision that should be made and what kind of resources should be allocated towards the same.
To fully maximize the use of satellite images in monitoring farms, growers, farm managers, technicians and crop consultants should first understand and have the ability to interpret the resultant image. Luckily, there are quite a wide range of enhancement tools that are tailored to make an image more interpretable for various specific applications. These classifications and enhancement tools are often used to highlight farm features. It is worth noting that these techniques employed depend highly on the type of remotely sensed data and the objectives of the end user as well.
The key advantage of satellite imagery is that its data is at different spectral, spatial, and temporal resolutions for crop assessment, crop health, agriculture, crop change detection, irrigated landscape mapping, environmental analysis, yield determination and soil analysis. The timing of these images is important as it will determine the type of information that end users are hoping to gain. Images speak volumes – they can tell the drainage pattern and variation in soil organic matter. Such information is valuable especially when used in determining management zones using ancillary data.
The agricultural sector has entered a new stage of development; farmers have no other choice but to change the degree of innovation used or applied in their respective fields. In particular, such developments are anticipated to bring improved agricultural machinery, modern crop cultivation, and precision farming technologies. The long term goal of operational satellites in the skies monitoring vast field of lands is better global food security.
Agriculture field monitoring for crop estimation and food security are relevant application of satellite monitoring of crops as a type of agricultural technology. Accurate estimation of crop information and estimates are very critical for the following reasons:-
- Quantity uncertainty may influence demand and supply resulting in price volatility and inaccurate shortage anticipation, this may result in the hoarding of farm produce; and
- Food security largely affects political stability. Monitoring remotely of crop progress is essential in risk estimation and management as well. Harvest progress can also be tracked by satellite images as well as analysis around the spatial distribution of crops.
Lastly, satellite technology is found to be reliable in crop monitoring since it accommodates regular revisit rates that produce consistent and accurate data and it also has a wide coverage. This in turn, becomes very useful when the farmer is carrying out time series analyses and other investigations or analyses. Further, satellite monitoring technology has been made attractive by the development of higher resolution sensors and constellations which allow for faster revisit rates.