Application of Remote Sensing in Agriculture

Introduction

Agriculture is very important for economy of both developed and developing countries. Agriculture productions provide food, which is necessity of everyone to survive. Therefore agriculture production in cost effective manner is the main need of each farmer. A farmer needs resourceful knowledge and information of products to form a viable strategy for farming.

Remote sensing is a tool which help to ascertain crop health and damage, potential yield, soil conditions. Remote sensing data in the form of satellite images and aerial photographs are used for crop mapping, classification, health and monitoring farming process. Remote sensing applications in agriculture are below-
  • Crop type mapping and classification
  • Crop condition assessment
  • Estimate crop yield
  • Soil behavior analysis
  • Mapping and monitoring of soil and crop

Crop Type Mapping Using Remote Sensing Technology

Crop identification and mapping is important for both government agencies and private agencies to know the impact of crop yield on economy by forecasting/prediction crop yield. The crop mapping facilitates to collect crop production data, rotation record, assessing crop damage and monitor the farming practices.

Key activities of mapping include identifying crop type and its extent. Remote sensing provides an accurate and effective process to collect information of crop type and its acreage. It also give information about crop health and assess crop damage take place due to natural disasters.
To map and monitor crop, require multi spectral and multi date satellite image. There are many sensors which are providing variety of satellite image from high resolution to low spatial resolution, temporal data and covering most of the spectral range of remote sensing as well as infrared region.

Figure- Cropping area in FCC satellite image

Crop mapping starts with acquiring satellite images. Selection of satellite image for mapping completely depends upon user’s requirement. In case of regional mapping, then need to select low resolution satellite images. But for detailed mapping at higher scale then one need to select high resolution satellite images. After acquiring satellite image, it should be corrected both radiometrically and geometrically (if require). Image enhancement can be performed to improve the quality of satellite image. Image classification can be performed using any image processing software to map the study area. By this process satellite images are used for mapping of crop of any given area.

Figure- Crop Mapping Through FCC satellite image

Crop Monitoring and Damage Assessment

Crop health assessment and early monitoring are significant to ensure good production. Damage due to different reasons such as less moisture, insect attack etc. can be detected on time to overcome these damages by mitigation methods employ by farmer. Satellite images are acquired on weekly basis to assess these damages and monitor crop health. Satellite images can be acquired throughout the growing season to assess the crop health and mitigate the damages. For proper monitoring and assessment, it is important to acquire growing season time specific satellite images with high resolution and multi spectral capabilities.

Figure- Crop Monitoring Over Period Through FCC satellite image

To monitor, satellite image are acquired as per need then image processing tool are used to improve quality of image. Normalized differential vegetation index (NDVI) can be vital tool to assess the crop health, as high NDVI value indicates good health of vegetation whereas low NDVI value shows poor crop health.

It is important to create information through remote sensing in a quick time of growing season to make this information useful for farmers. Otherwise this information will not be helpful for crop condition assessment.

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