March 30, 2023

What are the benefits of using satellite imagery in agriculture?

Satellite imagery is beneficial not only for large farmers but for all farm sizes. Combined with AI and deep learning models, satellite imagery creates a powerful tool to keep track of crop conditions and detect problems in the field earlier. Thus, satellite imagery can lead to better-informed crop management decisions, including the right timing for irrigation and fertilizer. But the use cases go even beyond that…

Use cases for satellite imagery in agriculture

Combined with the right data models, satellite imagery has many uses in agriculture. A few of them include:

  1. Monitoring crop health: Satellites can capture images of fields, which can be used to monitor crop health over time. This information can help farmers identify potential issues early, such as nutrient deficiencies or crop diseases, and take corrective action.
  2. Prediction of growth stage & yield: Satellite imagery can provide valuable information about crop health and growth, which can be used to predict yield. This can help farmers to plan for harvest and marketing, and to make informed decisions about crop management practices like timing for fertilization.
  3. Assessing weather patterns: Satellites can track weather patterns over large areas, providing valuable information to farmers about upcoming weather events. This can help farmers make better decisions about planting and harvesting, and also help them prepare for weather-related risks, such as floods or droughts.
  4. Soil monitoring: Yes, even soil characteristics can be identified and monitored using satellite images and taking a few other factors into account.  

In general, satellite imagery can increase the overall profitability of farming. Many farms are already making use of satellite data. However, the growth trend will continue in the upcoming years and so is the uses of insights derived from satellite imagery. For example, in the future, even soil nutrition characteristics can be accurately tracked using satellites and a good portion of AI. 

Drone vs. satellite imagery

One question that always comes up when talking about aerial imagery. Satellite imagery and images captured by drones can both be used in agriculture, but they have different use cases and benefits. Some of the key differences between these two types of imagery are:

  1. Coverage area: Satellite imagery can cover a much larger area than images captured by drones. This makes satellite imagery ideal for monitoring large farms or regions, while drone imagery can be only used for smaller areas or fields.
  2. Frequency: Satellite imagery can be captured regularly, providing farmers with a continuous stream of data about their crops. Drone imagery, on the other hand, is typically captured less frequently due to the need for physical flights.
  3. Resolution: Drones can capture images at much higher resolutions than satellites, providing more detailed information about crop health and other factors. This makes drone imagery ideal for example for phenotypic evaluation for crop breeding. 
  4. Cost: Satellite imagery can be more cost-effective than drone imagery, especially for large-scale monitoring of crops over time.

In summary, satellite imagery is best suited for monitoring large areas of farmland, providing continuous coverage over time, and being cost-effective. Drone imagery is better suited for capturing high-resolution images of smaller areas, where detailed information about specific areas is needed. Ultimately, both satellite and drone imagery can be powerful tools for farmers, depending on their specific needs and use cases.

How ListenField creates practical insights using satellite imagery

We are offering a dashboard crop management solution - FarmAI - for agri-food companies. It is the corporate solution that enables growers to maximize their yields while reducing the environmental footprint of their produce. FarmAI is a practicable and affordable dashboard solution that gives you control over every step in production - from seedbed preparation to harvesting and beyond. 

FarmAI is an all-in-one solution that gives you practical insights in a single user interface, including: 

  • Yield & growth stage prediction 
  • Crop health monitoring 
  • Weather data at field level
  • Growth performance monitoring
  • Activity logs for individual fields & farmers
  • Soil nutrition monitoring

Reduce unnecessary field visits and operational costs. Receive real-time insights that actually matter without driving into the fields - including the status of crop health, water stress, and underperforming areas. FarmAI enables you to manage thousands of fields and farmers remotely. 

Find out more about FarmAI here: 

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