One of the most daunting challenges we face today in terms of economy, energy, and climate is ensuring sustainable crop production. In a rapidly populating environment, sustainable agriculture presents the most effective way of producing food, energy, and other utilities in the long run. Not only that, sustainability helps in conserving and protecting the ecosystem and natural resources.
In order to improve agricultural practices, we need to acquire sufficient data related to crucial factors. Satellite data could prove to be extremely useful as it can be used for gaining new and more insightful information regarding different aspects of agriculture such as field crops, biomass estimation, and crop yields.
When such information is available to farmers, they can optimize field practices accordingly, for example, controlling the usage of fertilizer for efficient use of groundwater. This is important because using a lot of fertilizer can lead to too much nitrate in drinking water which promotes health hazards.
Similarly, satellite data can help the farmers in assessing the drought-related problems prior to their occurrence. Having such crucial information allows them to take precautionary measures and enhance yields. Various type of data can be accessed using satellites and remote sensing techniques. Here are some of the most common and useful ways in which it could be of help:
Using satellite images and RADAR to monitor soil properties, crop conditions, and tillage activities enables stakeholders to determine land usage, harvests prediction, observing changes in season, and, most importantly, helping in proposing and implementing a financially and ecologically viable sustainability development policy.
Moreover, collecting precise satellite data also provides assistance in accurately monitoring alterations in agriculture yields, productivity damage caused due to drought stress, rate of soil degradation and decline in land productivity that often results from increased cultivation and improper irrigation.
Satellite monitoring of the crops allows tracking of the positive and negative changes in the crop development using high resolution satellite images. A vegetation index is then generated, and alterations in that data indicate disproportions enabling one to figure out required agricultural measures that need to be taken on a particular field. Such monitoring technology lets farmers monitor crops in different areas, fields, regions, and countries. The resultant map from this technology can be read and interpreted by a variety of people.
2. Biomass Estimation
Biomass is an important source for world economy due to its role as fuel and various applications including bioenergy generation to curtail greenhouse gas emissions. In order to predict the future trends in bioenergy yields and determining sustainability of limited resources is crucial. Generating field images using satellite technology brings out data that can be read and interpreted to learn about trends which help with a consistent biomass estimation.
Satellite imaging and information from RADAR are the techniques that are being excessively used to estimate biomass production of any given region. A variety of parameters are monitored in this regard, including vegetation cover, land records, and crop productivity.
Biomass estimation is important for the success of any power plant. It is preferably done at two stages, including the power plant’s design stage and the other at the re-commissioning stage. Moreover, to ensure effective biomass estimation, it is advised to create a list of objectives that you are looking to achieve.
Finding out about the supply and availability level of the biomass of a particular area is important along with an estimation of pricing and other such parameters. Using satellite images and real time remote sensing of the fields can help with this estimation.
3. Yield Forecast
Another important factor in agriculture and farming is the estimation of crop yield. Satellite images can provide an accurate picture that allows for precise and actionable estimation. Knowing the productivity of any field is important in terms of marketing, economy, and sustainability. It also helps in planning ahead and optimizing use of resources.
Various software is available in the market that can incorporate the generated data into mathematical models to calculate the probabilities and determine how much yield is expected at the time you have chosen for harvesting the crop. Future outcomes can be learned in this way within a few minutes. Using satellite for yield forecast, one can predict and streamline their food producers and logistics planning.
The usage of this highly sensitive technology generating clear and high-quality satellite images ensures that farmers know what they will get at the time of harvesting. If they are aware of that information in terms of quantity as well as quality, it will allow them to come up with a suitable selling strategy.
Therefore, the yield forecast is an extremely important parameter for predicting future sales and develop a successful business on these models.
4. Precision Tasks
Precision farming is the latest trend in the field of agriculture. It means the integration of the latest smart technology and traditional agriculture practices, thereby enhancing the efficiency of production and the overall quality of farm products. Moreover, the usage of such advanced technology means a reduction in the tedious task and heavy labor for the workers. This improves their quality of life.
Using RADAR and optical imaging to predict future trends in the crop yields, bioenergy generation, biomass reserves, and overall crops quality allow for a better chance of enhancing results in the future. Such practices help one to answer the question of where and how the farm will be in 50 or even 100 years. Also, satellite data in agriculture points out the problems that can occur in the future. For example, when such data is accumulated for several years and then compared, a trend can be identified.
High-resolution images, as well as live and real-time monitoring of fields, are now available that gives the farmers a very accurate bird’s eye view of their fields. Such advanced technology allows the farmer to gather more detailed information about their crops. From soil conditions and crop quality to weather forecasts and potential threats to the crop can be identified. With the advent of 2D and even 3D images, the farmers have been able to get a thorough understanding of their crops. Therefore, satellite imaging along with drone technology has advanced the field of crop management.
Lately, crop monitoring, yield forecast, and biomass estimation have become essential elements of the sustainable agriculture business. To generate effective and true data, different methods have been invented and used over the past several years. Among other such techniques, the most advanced one is using the satellite images to monitor the fields. This technique generates optical images as well as RADAR images. Moreover, real-time monitoring of crops can be done with such technology.
Generating data from these techniques ensures that all the information thus gathered is highly precise and allows the farmers to learn the patterns and make the most important decisions for their crops. When such extensive and accurate data is available to the farmers, they are in a better position to manage their crops. Unlike the old days, when there used to be no modern tools of precision to gather information about the fields and crops, the current technology has made it easier for the farmers to monitor and manage their crops in the best possible way.