High resolution multispectral imagery in the agriculture industry – September 2014

Outline has been a supplier of high resolution multispectral imagery in the agriculture industry for many years. Over the next few months our precision agriculture remote sensing team will once again be acquiring crop information and producing maps over vineyards, almonds and olive farms in Victoria and South Australia.

Not only does Outline acquire and process exceptional quality colour and near-infrared imagery utilising their high-end multispectral imagery camera system, but we also offer a full service consultancy to assist customers with extracting the management information they need from the imagery. To do this we work in close collaboration with industry professionals from fertiliser companies and agronomists.

By generating row and tree spacing from the imagery, our analysts are able to generate a set of tree points for each orchard block. In the case of vineyards we generate a grid of points at regular intervals along each vine trellis. This GIS point layer serves as the basis for all future analysis over multiple years. Outline also maps the boundary of each orchard or vineyard block if required. Although not readily used in the industry yet, new opportunities exist to map the plant biomass in 3D making opening up new possibilities for deriving value from the data.

The generated tree or vine trellis points are assigned tree varietal or vine cultivar information to allow for the generation of varietal-specific vegetation indices such as the NDVI (Normalized Difference Vegetation Index). This is particularly useful for almond crops where different varieties are often planted together in the same block. NDVI values are derived at an individual tree or trellis level using the Near Ifra-red (NIR) imagery and delivered as a GIS layer for further analysis or translated into an area-based map of tree or vine vigour and health. By way of example, this information is used to;

• estimate yields and crop maturation patterns,
• prescribe variable rate fertilizer applications within a block,
• identify problems with irrigation infrastructure, and
• pinpoint areas of poor drainage.

Feel free to contact us for more information about these value-added services or our unique approach. We are here to assist and provide you with an end-to-end solution.