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What is multispectral imaging and how can it help you farm?

What is multispectral imaging and how can it help you farm?
Oct 05, 2022
By Denise Faguy
Assistant Editor, North American Content,

Drones are not just cool to watch, they can provide valuable information about crop health

Attendees at the 2022 Great Ontario Yield Tour Final Event in Woodstock in September watched drone demonstrations and learned more about how multispectral imaging can help farmers learn about the health of their crops.

Multispectral imaging obtained from drones allows software to read specific bands of light: red, blue, green. With the information about the specific bands of light, information can be extracted that provides agronomy maps which give information about the health of plants – crops planted in the ground.

Plants emit near infrared and red light as well, and TerraNova UAV can read those spectrums with their drone equipment and software. When a plant is healthy, it gives off a lot of near infrared and just a little bit of red light.

The map provides information about the health of a farmer’s crops, and it gives insight into the areas of farm fields that may need to have more attention paid to them. The maps provide data upon which farmers can make actionable decisions that can make a long-term impact on their crops.

“Farmers want to know how does that turn into value for your field,” suggested Andres Hurtado, TerraNova UAV president and Chief Executive Officer during his demonstration at the Great Ontario Yield Tour.

Throughout the Great Ontario Yield Tour, TerraNova UAV flew over several different fields as part of the demonstration of his drone's capabilities. Hurtado shared these anecdotes of how farmers have used the drone data to improve their farming operations.

An example of how the data was used is when the TerraNova UAV team provided data from a soybean field. The drone flew overhead and pinpointed a few areas of concern. Next, the TerraNova UAV team sent out the high-resolution drone which took a much closer look and then identified it as a SDS issue.

The next example was from a carrot field. The farmer planted carrots for the first time in these fields and he wanted to know how the carrots were doing. From the map that was provided by the TerraNova UAV drone, the team saw a few concerning spots with the multispectral imagery. TerraNova UAV gave the information to the farmer’s agronomist to do a proper diagnosis on the field and then develop an action plan to address the issue.

What was interesting with this example is that the field had several empty spots. It turns out it was an equipment issue, the farmer has worked with his mechanic to resolve the issue.

Watch the full TerraNova UAV presentation in Woodstock as part of the 2022 Great Ontario Yield Tour September 1, 2022.

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