With the development of agriculture in both size and technology, it is challenging for farmers to use personnel resources to check the farming area in person, on the field. Besides, we can only check on the surface and be limited by the invisible factors or miss some red-flag signs to stop a potential risk for our crops. Then, satellite imagery has had come to help, and we will see how they help the farmers regarding farm management challenges.
1. How it is developed through time?
As defined, satellite imagery is a tool to monitor crops and fields remotely over time from space, providing pictures and data for farmers to keep track of their farm performance. Farmers can use imagery to view various fields and crops to look for changes or differences. They can also use NDVI (normalized differential vegetation index) to monitor crop health, which allows them to make better decisions about where to scout fields or when and where to apply nitrogen fertilizer. The accuracy of the image is the utmost important aspect when concerning about using satellite imagery in farm management. Before, the temporal solution satellite imagery had helped farmers a lot in observing the big-picture of the farming area, but had some limits into providing clear and accurate details for further essential decision. As the technology innovated, nowadays, the spatial resolution satellite imagery is being implemented and yield a better result for the farmers with higher resolution, accurate in details and automatic in tracking unusual factors. The area of ground contained in one pixel is referred to as spatial resolution.
2. How it has benefited the Agricultural managers and farmers?
The answer is Remote Sensing, a technology method where satellite imagery data are coordinated with on-the-ground tests (such as climate station information, soil samples, vegetation studies, etc.) to make condition gauges at different spatial scales. Remote sensing is the combination of satellite imagery data and on-ground monitor points. It is impressive to keep track of the crops by observing them but noticing the unusual events, differences, and the development process of each crop area is a game-changing attribute in agricultural management. This feature can help alert the farmers on time for unexpected factors, but it also gathers daily information for other solutions in the future when combined with data science and complex data algorithms for further machine learning automation. In the near future, it can also be developed to match on the ground soil organic carbon estimates with satellite imagery to best estimate changes in carbon stocks across time while minimizing the cost of ground sampling. The carbon market companies are exploring these efforts and put into use, so that we can control and keep track on the carbon emmision rates while implementing farm management strategy.
3. What are the challenges?
As popular knowledge, satellite imagery data relies on the quality of the satellite located in outer space. It is a costly investment and even unpredictable or uncontrollable for maintenance and development to receive better results and implement new innovative technology for additional functions. It heavily relies on the satellite owners, such as the European Space Agency, and it is even harder to get the rights to access and fully use all farming management functions. Otherwise, the satellite imagery data technology would be a perfect appliance tool for agricultural strategy.
After all, implementing technology in the farming industry is to unload the weight of personal resources for a massive workload. However, human intention is still the utmost important factor in conducting an effective farming strategy. The data, the motion, and the imagery are helpful, but the farmers’ decisions from understanding the gathered information are the final steps for successful results. Use them wisely, but never fully rely on them for long-term management.