“Can that satellite look into your barn?”

25-01-2010 | |
Harrij Schmeitz Agri & Food chains

Well, not yet, but almost. Reading the weekly update of AllAboutFeed my attention was drawn by the article about the EU Harvest 2010 (News 22 Jan). Analists are forecasting the yield of corn, wheat etc….of huge interest for the feed-industry.

Looking at this I want to share with you a great Dutch solution called www.mijnakker.nl. This company uses the satellite images of satellites which are already flying around us for weather forecasts and other applications.
They transform these images into information about how the crops in the field are performing. For Growth it says something about the biomass-production on the field. How is the C02 intake? What’s the Leave Area Index (LAI) or the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI)?
Is this important? Yes it is; the NDVI says something about how much sunlight is absorbed for photosynthesis. The LAI is an index for vitality of the crop. Next to Growth there are indicators for Water, Minerals and Yield.
It is quite clear that a Dutch farmer can use this information for his business. That is already the case when knowing that the cost of using the system can break-even if he saves one gift of water to his crops, because he uses the data correct and manages on facts instead of feeling.
But maybe there is also a business case for the whole chain when receiving more info about the growth of the crops in the field.
I find it fantastic to see how in this application the newest technology is used and made simple and easy for any farmer to use. And it is all based on scientific-models. Great is to see how the information is simplified by using graphics instead of figures.
I am quite keen to hear from you if there are other initiatives on this subject around the globe…

More about