How to maximize your crop yield with NDVI

Every day, more farmers from all around the world are taking advantage of what precision
agriculture can offer. Unlike uniform farming where all areas on the field are treated the
same, precision agriculture takes advantage data gathered by sensors to make better and
informed decisions based on reliable and high quality measurements. At ADAcq, we employ
UAV’s (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles) to carry various sensors to capture images. Thanks to
this, farmers will know where to tackle problems, which resources to use, and how much of
it. This leads to a proactive approach in improving yield, and a more productive season
overall.

Precision Agriculture uses information from yield and quality monitoring equipment, GPS,
in-crop sensors, satellite biomass imagery, and UAV technology to better match agronomy
to the production potential of specific areas. The use of multispectral sensors allow ADAcq
to produce NDVI maps that can show precise information concerning crop health.

NDVI stands for Normalized Difference Vegetation Index and is an index which looks at the
light reflected off of plant matter. NDVI looks at the amount of near infrared light compared to
the amount of red light reflected (NIR-RED/NIR+RED). There are other indices that also look
at green, blue and red-edge that allow you to see more information like Nitrogen and
Chlorophyll content. In simple terms, a healthy plant absorbs a lot of the red spectrum to
produce chlorophyll and reflects NIR and as the plant starts to stress, it starts to absorb less
of the red and reflect less of the NIR spectrum.

The industry standard NDVI maps highlight areas of plant vigor and stress, allowing the
farmer to spend less time scouting and more time treating the areas that need it. Airborne
Data Acquisition also uses Thermal Imaging to analyse the health of your crop looking at
evapotranspiration or areas of warmer crop signalling water stress.
However, the real power of capturing NDVI is to look at the results over time. By comparing
multiple sets of images of your field, and comparing them to your own farming activities, you
will be able to see which methods proved to be the most effective. By building a
comprehensive dataset of your field means you can eventually compare the results by
month, season, or even year!

In our last blog post, we discussed how UAV Asset Inspection can be advantageous
compared to traditional surveying methods . That’s not to say that it is the most feasible
solution to have a team of UAV experts to drive to your field to do a survey on a regular
basis, especially when it’s the most effective to do a survey every fortnight or after an abrupt
event, such as a storm.

With that in mind, we had to think about how to get the best of both worlds – to empower
farmers to be able to gather NDVI data over time to make informed decisions and to take
advantage of UAV’s to do it in a way that’s feasible for them.

That is why ADAcq has developed a solution to work directly with you to build a UAV kit. We
can discuss what your farm’s needs are by looking at:
● How much land needs to be surveyed
● What your farming activities are, to see how often the UAV should conduct a survey
● What useful data we can gather
● What your specific crops requires
We can then schedule the UAV to fly around the field on a set schedule or on-demand. The
images will be sent to ADAcq, then we can process the images through our powerful
software to create location-aware orthophotos. In the end, we will be able to provide you the
information you need on how to optimize crop yield on your land.

Contact us today to arrange for your free demonstration or to discuss a custom ADAcq
solution and we’ll work together to make it a great season!

Drones vs Traditional Surveying: How They Can Help Traditional Surveying

Back in the day there were many obstacles when it came to surveying in a traditional way.
First, it was time-consuming to plan, to have to had previous knowledge about the area to
know where to place the equipment. Depending on the type of survey, there may have been
a need for equipment such as cranes, scaffolding, elevated work platforms, machines to
move the equipment, and large vehicles to transport them to the site.
Second, these surveys often required a lot of manpower, and they were often specialized to
only use one or two types of equipment. There were also safety and legal implications,
especially when there are so many people involved in environments which were not always
highly controlled.
For some areas of interest, the equipment would not have even been able to arrive there, as
it lacked the infrastructure to reach there with large commercial vehicles.
At the end of the day, smaller businesses probably did not have the resources to conduct
comprehensive surveys, even though doing so would have been necessary or highly
beneficial to them.
UAV Benefits
It was not that recent in history that UAV’s (unmanned aerial vehicles, or drones) were built
and used for surveying and mapping. Back in 1915, the British military used aerial
photography to plan their battle tactics in the Battle of Neuve Chapelle. They captured over
1500 sky view maps of the German trench fortifications in the region.
https://www.telegraph.co.uk/history/world-war-one/inside-first-world-war/part-eight/10742060
/aerial-photography-world-war-one.html
What’s remarkable about that was that they were quickly able to get a bird’s eye view of an
area that they could not physically go to. Should the aerial survey have failed or if the UAV
was damaged in combat, nobody would have been hurt. Finally, they were able to take what
they gathered for their advantage.
UAV’s for Asset Inspection
ADAcq understands that asset inspection is essential to running businesses especially
when the documentation and communication of one’s assets is becoming more important.
Regular inspection allows for a more proactive approach to maintaining equipment and
ultimately, saving money on repairs and replacements on the long-term.
In addition to saving time on planning and cost on labour and transportation to equipment,
there are more reasons to use one of ADAcq’s drones for asset inspection. Because of the
drone’s relatively compact size, it can get into harder to reach areas compared to for
example, a helicopter which is normally used for power line inspections. Some cameras
attached to the drones can take high resolution stills or video and automatically detect flaws
on your asset. These high resolution images create a record that can be used to monitor the
lifespan of the asset and be used to better schedule maintenance and repair times. The
records can also be used to compare damage and wear from weather events and be used to
make better decisions when building new assets. Monitoring damage over time can also
help with contractual arrangements, such as claiming damage for insurance or informing
your clients of your progress. Thermal and hyperspectral imaging can be used to find
damage invisible to the naked eye, allowing engineers time to schedule repairs.
Finally, ADAcq’s drones can be launched on short notice, which is when an inspection is
likely to be the most important. It used to take weeks to plan and conduct a survey, and now
it’s only a matter of hours, thanks to improvements in UAV technology. ADAcq can work
closely with you to build a solution to suit your surveying and asset inspection needs.
In our next blog post, we will dive deeper into how UAV’s can maximize your crop yield