Growing healthy plants is a top priority for every farmer and agricultural consultant, and this means keeping a constant eye on seedling health to spot problems as early as possible. Even on smaller farms, this is no easy task – and it becomes increasingly challenging over larger areas.
Farmers need to perform regular checks on the health of their growing crops. Monitoring plant growth and health during the biological cycle provides important insights on crop threats (such as diseases, nutrient deficiencies or pests) and guides the farmer on where action is required.
So, other than personally surveying the field, what options does a farmer have for keeping watch over crops? A number of technological advancements are available to help farmers monitor their crops easily and with good precision.
One involves flying planes (or, more recently, drones) over the crops and collecting information using remote sensing instruments, such as hyperspectral cameras. Another way is to install measuring devices in-situ. But although these options can provide insights with good precision both in terms of location and status, they are usually costly and time consuming and – especially in the case of field surveys might be acquired too late.
Early information on plant health is important as it can help farmers make better decisions in dealing with potential threats, and in scheduling agricultural operations (e.g. fertilization, spraying, harvest), based on their field’s needs also at sub-parcel level.
How APOLLO can help farmers and agricultural consultants to make more informed decisions?
APOLLO Crop Growth Monitoring Service provides farmers with daily updates on their crop status from emergence through to harvest, generating early alerts in case of infestations and nutrient deficiencies.
The service can enable farmers to have early estimations of their crops’ status and make better decisions as a result. The service is based on crop models, and acquires valuable information on crop status during the whole agricultural season at both parcel and sub-parcel level.
Taking advantage of free and open satellite data from EU’s Copernicus program, APOLLO is providing advice based on highly accurate data from smaller to larger fields. The APOLLO Crop Growth Monitoring service is directly monitors crop condition by analysing Earth Observation based agricultural parameters such as Vegetation Indices (e.g. NDVI, SAVI, EVI) and biophysical characteristics (e.g. LAI, chlorophyll content, biomass). All this complex data is transformed into easily interpretable information for all farmers and consultants. The service is capable of monitoring the growth of arable crops as well as orchards and vineyards.
If you want to have a free trial of the service you can subscribe here.