Satellites helping agricultural production
Satellites moving along an Earth orbit continuously take images of surface processes. Such images are recorded by using different wavelengths.
The analysis of the images and the timelines enables for the evaluation of many agriculture related processes and events. The analysis of whole plant culture lifecycles – including soil cultivation, sowing, emergence, manuring, inter-row cultivation, plant protection, ripening, harvesting and stubble breaking – is particularly interesting based on the timeline data.
The Hungarian Research Institute of Organic Agriculture (ÖMKi) and its partners also take part in the ORGAN-IM project, lead by Geoadat Ltd. This research project aims at the identification of the production related work processes of organic and conventional farms based on the images taken by the satellites. Are there any markers verifying if the different processes have been carried out according to the organic regulations or not in the fields involved in organic farming? We are sure that this technology – apart from the data of the farming diary – is suitable for verifying the date of sowing and harvesting, which are both critical from the point of organic certification during the transition to organic farming. We are curious about how the different operations, the impacts of mechanical weed control or that of plant protection treatments will look like according to the timeline data, since spraying is also allowed in organic arable crop production for the spread of plant protection agents, plant conditioners or leaf manures. Satellite images clearly show the evidence of such operations. We also analyse the fields of conventional farmers, and we would like to thank all our organic and conventional partners for allowing us to see their data and to carry out the inspections.