Using Satellite Imagery To Monitor And Manage Crop Development
Presented by Dr. Leo Espinoza
Soil Specialist, University of Arkansas
Crop monitoring is commonly done using images obtained with drones equipped with a variety of cameras or sensors. The use of satellite imagery is not common in Arkansas, perhaps due to a higher level of complexity when processing images captured by satellites or the cost associated with acquiring high resolution imagery. Satellite imagery has evolved in last few years, with higher spatial and temporal resolution, which allows for a continuous monitoring of a crop, regardless of cloud cover. There is a variety of sources of imagery, several of them provide information at no cost, on a weekly basis. The objective of this presentation is to discuss the potential use of satellite imagery to monitor crop development and to serve as a tool to manage the fertility of the crops grown in Arkansas.
Ultra-High-Resolution Imagery For Precision Agricultural Applications - Emphasis On Plant Breeding And High Throughput Phenotyping
Presented by Dr. Kevin Price
Chief Emerging Technolgies Officer, Air Data Solutions, LLC
Presented by Don Cummins
Owner, Air Data Solutions, LLC
Farmers continue looking for improved crop varieties that are: adapted to their geographic settings, resistant to disease and pests, and provide high yields. A bottleneck to advancing improved crop varieties is in the labor intensive and costly process of observing each genetic variant to identify desirable physical traits (phenotyping). As a result, crop breeders continue to look for more effective means of classifying phenotypic qualities in a process called “high throughput phenotyping.”
With the advent of the small unmanned aircraft (drones) and other robotic technologies, as well as new cameras flown on manned aircraft, many crop breeders are experimenting with ultra-high-resolution (sub inch) multispectral (multiple wavelengths) digital imagery for automated extraction of plant and canopy phenotypic characterization. Drone image measurements include: plant growth rates, plant height, biomass, leaf area index, cover, seedling emergence, and plant health assessment.
During this presentation, a discussion of drone imaging will be presented, with a focus on the strengths and weaknesses of the technology. Examples of what can be observed and the measurements that can be extracted from the imagery will be presented.
Integration Of Aerial Imagery To Improve Crop Management Strategies
Presented by Dr. Terry Spurlock
Associate Professor & Extension Plant Pathologist, Lonoke Extension Center
Aerial imagery can be a useful tool to help determine farm level and field level plant performance. In recent years, more user-friendly platforms that allow aerial imagery to be captured by small unmanned aerial systems (sUAS) have been launched. This has encouraged broader acceptance within the agricultural community. While the resolutions of sensors vary, those with multi-spectral capability (red, green, blue, and near infrared) offer some field level or sub-field level utility for farmers and consultants. However, as a stand-alone source of spatial data, even high-resolution aerial imagery has limited diagnostic benefit. When integrated with other data layers such as product application, harvest, soil types and textures, elevation models and timely ground truthing events, aerial imagery can be very powerful. This presentation will explore the different options to acquire aerial imagery via sUAS and help those interested understand ways to integrate aerial imagery into an overall effective management plan.