CROP SURVEYING - VARI PLANT HEALTH ANALYSIS
Traditionally, farmers evaluate the state of their crops the old-fashioned way: by walking their fields, looking for signs of stress or pest infestation. However, this is extremely time-consuming, and even more so when late in the season when leaf canopies are at their largest and most full. This makes it easy to miss problems.
That’s why many farmers have turned to drone surveys to get a bird’s eye view of the state of their crops.
Many farmers tend fields, orchards, vineyards, and other growing areas that can span thousands of acres, making it impossible to know exactly what’s going on the ground. By the time a problem becomes obvious, the resulting loss of product can mean revenue losses of tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars.
WHY DRONE PHOTOGRAPHY?
Drone photography makes it fast and easy for farmers to survey the state of their crops.
With aerial drone photography, you can boost your crop yields and cut costs by:
- Discovering plant disease outbreaks, fungal infections, and evidence of parasites before they take a heavy toll.
- Quickly spotting pest infestations.
- Measuring the incursion of weeds.
- Evaluating watering and irrigation conditions.
- Assessing altitude, slope, and drainage.
- Conducting accurate plant accounts.
- Measuring plant spacing.
- Calculating necessary quantities of fertilizer, nutritional supplements, pesticides, and other products.
- Assessing storm damage and calculation insurance claims.
All of this isn’t made possible simply by capturing detailed photographs of field conditions. We process our drone images with sophisticated software designed specifically for measuring plant health.
One such popular algorithm for analyzing crop health is the Visible Atmospherically Resistant Index (VARI).
Thanks to careful study by botanists and other horticultural researchers, we know that healthy plants reflect a certain colors of light to a greater degree than unhealthy plants. Basically, healthy plants look greener, while unhealthy plants tend to look more brown or red.
The VARI algorithm is a mathematical formula that processes field photos captured with drone cameras, samples the light spectrum throughout the photographed crop area, and flags areas where there is evidence of poor plant health. This data is then used to produce a heat map that shows the location of healthy and unhealthy crops.
This information allows growers to quickly hone in on growing areas in need of attention to evaluate for potential problems, such as watering issues, plant disease infections, pest infestations, and other causes of concern.
West Coast Drones can quickly and conveniently provide you with the data you need increase your potential revenue and make informed, cost-saving decisions.