In the past few years, a true revolution has taken place in the satellite business. Hundreds of Earth Observation satellites have been launched and are in orbit today, taking pictures of our planet on a daily – sometimes hourly – basis. A lot of the ESA satellite images are freely available. At the same time, prices for images taken by commercial satellite operators are also dropping. All this results in thousands of gigabytes of easily navigated data that opens up a world of possibilities for, amongst others, agricultural applications.
BRINGING SPACE TECHNOLOGY DOWN TO THE POTATO FIELDS
To start with, it is now possible to keep an eye on every field everywhere in the world. Information can be derived from satellite imagery. For example, it’s possible to calculate a reliable indicator of a crop’s productivity (fAPAR). Thanks to the commonly available high resolution satellite data, you can now derive the productivity indicator for every spot in the field and even tell farmers which parts of theirs field need attention. By combining this satellite data with the weather and soil data, it is even possible to provide meaningful information throughout the season on the development and health of the potatoes in every single field.
ONLINE TOOL TO MONITOR AND IMPROVE YOUR POTATO CROPS
The Belgian potato processing industry is one of the biggest exporter of frozen potato products in the world preceding the Netherlands, Canada and the United States. To safeguard this position and allow the industry to grow, they need to be able to increase potato yields in a sustainable way.
WathITgrow is an online platform for the Belgian potato sector to monitor and increase potato yields in a sustainable way. watchITgrow allows potato growers, traders and processors to access data and information on the growth of their potato crops.
By using watchITgrow, you are able to:
- access more and more accurate information on the state of the crop
- better monitor the potato crop in function of growth, health status and development
- improve yields and estimate the harvest date and yields during the season
- map spatial variability within the field
- reduce production and quality losses