NDVI Field Reports

If you need a quick assessment of how many acres in your fields are impacted by a lot of rain, drainage problems, spray drift, variations in nitrogen fertilizer, or an outbreak of a disease NDVI field reports can provide you with a high resolution solution. These maps are made by taking NDVI imagery with our plane and are available the next day after we fly. Additionally, you can download the geo-referenced NDVI imagery directly to a smartphone or tablet to take to the field. The example below shows how a vegetable field partially recovered from poor drainage mid-season in 2015.

 

NDVI Increases As Vegetable Crops Near Harvest

Proper harvest timing is critical to harvest high quality vegetables. In 2015 we flew lima bean and beets fields from June through harvest in August and September. As the season progressed the NDVI of the lima beans and the beets continued to increase up to harvest (see the green areas below). Poorly drained areas had low NDVI values (red areas) all season long.

 

Mapping Herbicide Damage & Equipment Tracks

When herbicide drift occurs, other crops are often damaged, reducing their yield potential. The NDVI scan below documents herbicide drift damage in a vegetable field from herbicides sprayed in corn fields to the west and south (black boxes). The low NDVI values on the east and north ends of the field are due to drainage problems. Equipment tracks (orange stars) from a separate field operation in the vegetable field were also documented with our Enhanced Color Imagery during the same flight.

 

Developing Corn Side-dress Nitrogen Prescriptions

Many factors influence how much side-dress nitrogen farmers apply to their corn crops. In wetter years, much of the nitrogen applied at planting is lost by mid-season. Additionally there often are growth variations across corn fields due to differences in nitrogen availability and drainage. The lower, wetter spots often have higher nitrogen loses resulting in short, yellow corn. Other areas with adequate nitrogen fertility and drainage usually support better growth. In order to help farmers manage these variations we are working to develop corn side-dress nitrogen prescriptions based our NDVI imagery. This requires conducting extensive calibration trials with different nitrogen rates ranging from no nitrogen beyond some starter, up to very high rates of fertilizer. We are also comparing our green NDVI imagery to nitrogen availability models. Even without a prescription, some farmers are currently using our NDVI imagery to make their own side-dress nitrogen assessments in corn.

 

Assessing Fire Blight Damage in Apples

Fire blight causes damage to apples and pears every year in the Northeastern US. This case study describes how our NDVI imagery was used assess fire blight damage in an orchard in New York.

 

Mapping Broken Tile Lines

When tile lines are broken it’s often difficult to find where to did in order to make repairs. This case study details how our Enhanced Color, NDVI, and Natural Color imagery all provided geo-referenced locations of broken tile lines.

 

Monitoring Algal Blooms

Algal blooms can cause people to become sick if they swim in contaminated water. This case study highlights how our Enhanced Color imagery mapped an algal bloom near a recently close beach.

 

Mapping Corn Growth over Tile Lines

When functioning properly, tile lines remove excess water and allow for improved crop growth. This case study describes how our Enhanced Color imagery tile lines were mapped with corn growing over the top of them and also some tile lines found by variations in soil surface drainage.

 

Detecting Planter Failures with NDVI

Often there are some planter malfunctions that impact crop growth for the whole growing season. This case study highlights how our NDVI imagery documented a planter pass skip and a likely rate change in pop-up fertilizer application at planting in a corn field.

 

NDVI Detects Drainage Impacts

Crop growth can be greatly impacted by poor drainage. This case study describes how our NDVI imagery documented the different growth patterns across a field of corn due to variable drainage patterns.

 

Mapping Soil Erosion

Sheet, gully, and rill erosion damage many farm fields every year. This case study describes how our Natural Color imagery documented many examples of erosion in a farm field.