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Using satellites to better understand farm fields

Using satellites to better understand farm fields

Have you ever wondered how information from a drone could help you on the farm?

By Haley Bilokraly Intern

Research presented by Professor Steve Shirtliffe from the University of Saskatchewan (U of S) shows that remotely sensed data is a great way to collect information about your crops.

Remote sensing is using satellites and unoccupied aerial vehicles (UAVs), such as drones, to gather information about your land.

According to experiments conducted by the U of S, remotely sensed data can be used for determining variability in a field, assessing herbicide damage, measuring seed moisture and more.  Shirtliffe shared the research at the recent 2022 Western Precision Agriculture Conference and Ag Technology Showcase.

For example, Shirtliffe shared how UAVs can be used to count your canola. In his experiment, students created a program that scans UAV images for emerging canola plants.

On top of detecting positive plant growth, research has been done to use UAVs for detecting harmful weeds like kochia. During this study, Shirtliffe and his colleagues were able to create accurate maps predicting where kochia was hiding in fields.

Current research has been focused on yield prediction using data collection at the beginning of seeding. The hope is to extend this information to accurately predict yields for the following year using historical data.

Learn about the other ways remotely sensed data is being used by watching the video below.

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