In continually developing our professionalism, we often look to new technology to help resolve agronomic issues endemic to our cropping systems. Annually, we partner with industry leaders and local growers to conduct on-farm research in order to gain insight into what products, hybrids, and practices are the best fit for our region. Often, we utilize varioius sources of aerial imagery to help identify in-field variability and how that might adversely impact the quality of the yield data that we gather from plots.
Below are some of the products of one particular system and the benefits they provide to agronomists and producers alike.
High Resolution Images
Flying a field produces hundreds of pictures. These high resolution images can help provide unique insight into the cropping system and permits scouts to be more effective in their trouble-shooting endeavors.
The example on the right shows Nitrogen skips on rye. The difference in height was obvious from the road, but getting an aerial perspective allowed us to view (and measure) the total area affected.
Topography, Surface Maps, Volume Estimates
The scores of pictures acquired during a flight are used to generate a 3D computer model of the area covered. This model is used to produce the full-field image (orthomosaic), perform measurements of stockpiles (volume), areas, and lines.
The example on the left is an oblique perspective of a corn silage plot we flew numerous times. This 3D model gives us a new and interactive way to explore the field and perform different analyses of various features.
Geo-Referenced Imagery for Precision Ag Applications
The orthomosaic produced is a geo-referenced image that may be used to carry out variable-rate operations, enhance scouting, document crop injury, and many other agronomic events.
The example image on the right is a color-infrared orthomosaic of corn and soybeans, overlaid with a rainbow-scaled raster over the soybean field. This raster would be one of many layers used to generate management zones which would potentially be used for soil and tissue sampling, variable-rate seeding, variable-rate lime and fertilizer applications, and potentially variable-rate irrigation.
The videos below show some of the mapping products we can create with a variety of imagery sources.