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BASF and VanderSat collaborate to provide farmers with high-precision, field-specific crop optimization

  • Microwave sensing from space gives more precise measurement of moisture and temperature in fields
  • Integration into BASF’s xarvio™ Field Manager enables high-precision forecasting of yield risk
  • Collaboration helps farmers make more accurate agronomic decisions

“BASF and the Dutch Earth observation company VanderSat are collaborating to support farmers worldwide with even more precise, satellite data-based recommendations on application of crop inputs. VanderSat’s satellite data uses high-precision microwave technology to measure soil moisture and surface temperatures in individual field zones. The technology will be an additional data source for BASF’s xarvio™ Field Manager, a commercial product that for example calculates the risk of disease on a field-by-field basis, providing farmers with individually tailored application maps and optimized timing for crop protection measures.

“Knowing soil moisture levels is key to predicting yield risks and crop development more accurately,” said Ole Peters, Head of Technology Digital Farming at BASF’s Agricultural Solutions division. “By integrating VanderSat’s data into our digital farming technology, farmers will benefit from even more precise, field-zone-specific information and forecasts – both for our existing offers and for future solutions that will be enabled by this technology. It will help farmers, replace in-field soil sensors in many situations, and will ensure more efficient and sustainable use of water and crop inputs.”

Unmatched accuracy helps farmers take better decisions

The microwave data from VanderSat is collected daily for every field around the world at a spatial resolution of 100 x 100 meters. It will provide a unique and independent layer of information to build the digital profile of a field in BASF’s xarvio Field Manager. “One major advantage of microwave sensing is that cloud cover does not interfere with the measurement from space,” said Richard de Jeu, founder and Chief Technology Officer of VanderSat. “We have been collecting daily information on soil moisture and temperature from different satellites for many years. As a result, we now have an archive of data that goes back more than 16 years. These elements in combination with high-resolution sensing make our satellite-derived products highly reliable for determining field-zone-specific management decisions.”

Data validation and prototyping done by both companies already show that VanderSat’s satellite data is typically more consistent and representative than measurements of soil moisture and temperature from field sensors. BASF and VanderSat are now validating solutions on several hundred fields on three continents in different crops to enable farmers to make more accurate agronomic decisions.