Why Growers Are Turning To Aerial Imagery

Individual farm size is ever-growing while the total number of farms is shrinking, meaning many growers are turning to new technologies to manage their growing operation. Beyond that, pressure from the non-ag sector is increasing, calling on farmers to do more with less. One of the technologies available to them is aerial imagery. Why is this such a compelling technology?

Imagery Allows Growers To Visualize The Entirety Of A Field

You don’t know what you don’t know and a W- or Z-walk through a field might mean you miss an issue by a few rows. With a view from above, you can see everything, so you know what’s going on in every row.

Images like this show what’s going on in the entire field. Without this high resolution aerial view, the grower might not know how widespread this emergence issue is.

Evolving Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning Spot Issues for You

While viewing a field from above is more efficient than walking the rows, with larger and larger farms come more and more images. With the continuous evolution of AI and machine learning, computers can scan the imagery and automatically identify issues. So instead of poring through thousands of images trying to spot a problem, growers can quickly identify problems and build a plan of action.

 

In the example below, a grower was alerted to a field with significant temperature variations via the Heat Seeker badge, which were found to be flooded areas. By being alerted to the issue early, the grower was able to dig drainage ditches and plant the field a few weeks later to prevent yield loss. Throughout the season, AgMRI’s Smart Alert badges help prioritize fields that need attention, whether it’s weeds, emergence, or underperforming crops due to nutrient deficiency, insects, or disease pressure.

The blue areas in this field show cold zones, which turned out to be flooded areas.

 

Targeted Insights Drive Efficiency and Conservation

Resources are limited, whether we’re talking about time, money, or inputs. Understanding exactly where issues are present can help growers conserve all three. Knowing the exact spot to visit in the field through targeted alerts means you can go ground-truth the issue rather than randomly walking around the field hoping to spot something, saving countless hours so you can focus on big-picture decisions that will have a major impact on yield and profitability. Beyond that, having a full picture of the issues in the fields can improve the accuracy of your variable rate applications, which can help you conserve inputs, and in turn—money.

 

Thermal insights from late June begin to show disease pressure, as confirmed by AgMRI’s Row Tracer below.

In mid-July, a grower discovered disease pressure via thermal variance on the field. He scheduled a timely fungicide application just a few days later and continued to monitor the situation in subsequent images. By mid-August, the area had recovered and he prevented any further yield loss.

Improvement can be seen in early August.

 

Each season, we help growers navigate the changing landscape of ag with a wealth of alerts, information, and use cases. Interested in learning more about Intelinair’s AgMRI crop analytics tool? Contact us!

 


by Erin Myers, Customer Success Manager

As the Customer Success Manager, that is what I want for our customers—success. I’m excited to see so many growers adopting technology like AgMRI that can help them farm more profitably and efficiently. Learn more about our solution at intelinair.com or contact us at customersuccess@intelinair.com.

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