26 Jul 2018

Every field tells a different story and a good agricultural tool makes that story more complete.

Digital scouting has been helping farmers, agronomists and breeders detect potential problems early and tackle them at faster.

A view from above gives a better overview of your farm and you can inspect every detail with drone-acquired imagery. Instantly processed images into orthomosaics give more information on potential machinery, drainage, or animal damage. They can even indicate where it could potentially be a nutrient deficiency issue by comparing the crops within the same field.


Pix4Dfields generated orthomosaic using instant processing engine

To give more context and to inspect the crops even more closely, you can layer on index maps which add a new dimension to information visibility. Detecting potential pest outbreaks, stressed crops from a malfunctioned irrigation system, or lack of nutrients are all examples that become less of a problem if detected early.


Pix4Dfields comparison tool: orthomosaic (left), index map (right) indicating the problematic areas

As another layer of accuracy, “boots on the ground” are useful to double check and confirm problem hotspots from maps – from the field. To be as efficient and as streamlined as possible, Pix4Dfields comes with an annotation tool. By adding annotations to your maps, you convey more valuable and actionable information for your team and for yourself.

For example, the orthomosaic on the left very clearly indicates patches of what looks like bare soil, and the same can be seen on the index map on the right. The index map can additionally pinpoint the areas that might be experiencing stress levels and need to be inspected in more detail.


Pix4Dfields generated orthomosaic with added annotations for further inspection

Once checking on-ground the highlighted areas from the maps, we find out that the area marked with annotation 1 is a dry spot where water was sitting for a long time during fall, winter, and spring due to the high rainfall. The plants died there because the soil was saturated and no air was inside the pores of the soil. Annotations 2, 3, and 4 are sandy spots where all crops dried out earlier or later in the season because the (sandy) soil cannot save water. And as our dear friend and farm manager Konrad Harbort stated: “Plants need the same things as humans- air and water”

Digital scouting opens new ways of identifying issues in your farm and helps you understand your plant’s stress levels faster. By using drone imagery and by linking the different layers of information side-by-side, crop patterns may tell a different story from the one on-ground. Annotate the pinpointed areas in your maps and get your team collaborating on making better and more focused farming management decisions.

Special thank you to Konrad Harbort for his ‘on-ground ag sight’.

Annotate your fields today

To learn more about how to use annotations in Pix4Dfields, visit our Pix4Dfields knowledge base.