Agronomists spend hours if not multiple days walking through fields trying to identify problem areas or plants under stress. The utilization of drones in the agriculture industry is taking precision agriculture practices to the next level. When it comes to inspecting and mapping a field there is a variety of hardware options. While most begin with the visible spectrum (RGB) cameras that come standard on drones, many turn to sensors designed specifically for agriculture in order to perform more accurate, scientific analysis of plant health.

Advantages Of NDVI Mapping

There are some clear advantages to using near-infrared and multispectral imagery when flying your fields. For those who are new to this technology, we took a look at the basics and highlighted a few reasons you might want to consider adding drones to your seasonal routines. NDVI sensors provide increased accuracy when comparing plant health data over time, which is a major benefit over visible spectrum cameras. This is helpful when you’re trying to identify trends beyond a single point in time, such as throughout the course of a crop in the season.

The information collected by the NDVI sensor will give growers and agronomists a 10-day window into the future. What does this mean? Because the sensor is picking up infrared waves, beyond the capabilities of human sight, we can detect stresses among the crop 10 days before there is a visible defect.

But How Does Near Infrared Detect Plant Stress?

Using aerial imagery to measure plant health over time comes down to measuring the reflectance of light bouncing off crops. The NDVI (Near Infrared Sensors) pick up the frequency that the plant leaf releases in order to measures the “vigor” of the plant’s health. These sensors typically capture some combination of visible and near-infrared light using narrow filters to increase the sensitivity and specificity of the measurements.

Making Actionable Crop Data More Available to Growers

You hear a lot about ‘actionable data’ in the agriculture industry. From human scouting to satellite imagery, to drones, there are many ways of collecting crop data. But how available is that data? Terra Aerial’s drone services help growers and agronomists access multispectral crop imagery on demand, and make sense of that data through easily assessable platforms. We can go out and fly your fields, view real-time results, and get to work addressing any issues you may find in minutes—not days or weeks.

We Are Here To Help

Terra Aerial Drone Service knows how hard our farmers and agronomists work each season. We can help trim the fat and make sure your time is spent wisely while yielding the most out of your crop. Many studies have proven that early detection of crop stress can result in an increase crop yield. Don’t waste any more time this growing season, contact us today or call (719) 374-0374.