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7 ways satellite crop monitoring can improve your farm's results

Effective field management requires extensive knowledge and data. This forces the agriculture industry to seek newer ways to improve the production technology, ensure security, and methods of crop control since the cost of a mistake is so high. 
 
The modern approach to improve land-use efficiency suggests using accurate material distribution such as variable rate application techniques, precise weather prediction, and remote sensing for advanced problem-spotting. Satellite monitoring technologies (and crop analysis platforms in particular) are a simple yet cost-efficient entry ticket to the future of farming. 
 
Digital tools along with satellite analytics prove especially efficient for large farmers due to good benefit-cost ratio and opportunity to save on scouting. However, it also suits small growers, providing them with a relatively cheap entry to the enterprise-level technology.
 
What is satellite monitoring 
 
Satellite crop monitoring is an online service intended for use in agronomical, trading, insurance, and other agriculture-related spheres like input supply. Its main feature allows examining vegetation conditions through the estimation of near-infrared light reflected from the Earth’s surface. This indicator is measured by special coefficients (indices) that quantify vegetation such as NDVI. This allows to track plant development dynamics and identify problem spots on a field without leaving the office. 
 
Other features include weather prediction and risk estimation tools, rainfall information, historical field data, scouting, and soil moisture data. Insights from satellites are visualized in software platforms for efficient field management. That is done through analyzing satellite imagery, sensors data, weather forecast tools, and advanced machine learning algorithms. 
 
Modern crop monitoring allows monitoring plant health, alerting on extreme weather changes, and tracking field performance through historical data analysis. This opens the door to directions such as soil fertilization guidance without even having to physically examine fields. 
 
7 real benefits satellite monitoring brings to the table
  • Scouting costs cut. Satellite monitoring allows saving on scouting. It means a farmer needs fewer people to inspect the fields. EOS Crop Monitoring has built-in functionality for scouting management. This includes a convenient task manager allowing to save time and minimize face-to-face contact during the pandemic.
  • Equipment costs cut. Satellite data shows exactly where the action is needed relieving farmers from buying (renting) extra tools like drones, tractors, etc.
  • Efficient use of water and fertilizers. Health assessment allows seeing how the field reacts to water or fertilizer application remotely. This information helps to develop and maintain effective Variable Rate Application.
  • Better planning. Historical data enables a better understanding of where and what should be grown helping to utilize crop rotation techniques; 
  • Awareness of risks. Weather alerts and temperature shock notifications are seen in the satellite weather forecast. One can evaluate potentially dangerous temperatures, weather dynamics so that a farmer would have enough time for countermeasures.
  • Soil moisture data with no expensive sensors. Thanks to satellite monitoring capacities, there is no need to buy and install a multitude of moisture-measuring devices. All data is sent directly to your computer, tablet, or smartphone, saving you a substantial amount of money.  
  • Safer investments. EOS Crop Monitoring imagery allows historic analysis for each field, one just needs to input the dates of sowing/harvesting. This gives a vision of what has been growing and in what quantities. This allows assessing soil fertility and spot crop rotation rule violations before you buy the land.
 
How satellite imagery and analytics enable better results?
 
The most obvious benefit remote sensing and monitoring platforms in particular provide is the comprehensive information that drives field management decision-making. Constantly updated data regarding vegetation health and moisture levels, for example, can point out to spots that need extra watering or fertilization (or have too much of those). 
 
Satellite imagery is also irreplaceable in advanced farming machinery for guidance and variable rate application. For instance, the EOS Crop Monitoring platform features: 
 
  • data and imagery to keep up-to-date with the crops;
  • calculation of field areas; 
  • access to all recorded satellite data regarding the field performance and local climate over the past few years; 
  • data to make crop production predictions so that farmers can make better management decisions;
  • in custom projects, machine-learning algorithms that detect fields and suggest a crop type grown are also available;
 
Crop inputs depend on hundreds of factors, including those that are impossible to predict. Satellite monitoring helps farmers to stay informed about important environmental conditions on selected areas human eyes could never see. 
 
Based on this information, farming specialists can make relatively precise crop yield estimations and farm management decisions. For instance, farmers can spot the correlation between weather effects, fertilizer or water application and field performance to draw conclusions from there or to notice issues on a field before it does serious damage.
Source : EOS

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