CLIENTS and area managers with Western Australia’s Summit Fertilizers can now access satellite images of paddocks to help with crop-nutrition decisions through a partnership the company has entered into with DataFarming.
Established in 2017, DataFarming is based in Toowoomba, Queensland, and owned and operated by Australian precision-agriculture specialists Tim and Peta Neale.
Its cloud-based platform provides regular access to NDVI (normalised difference vegetation index) satellite maps.
Summit Fertilizers is owned by Japanese conglomerate Sumitomo, and the company is WA’s second-biggest fertiliser marketer.
Summit clients and area managers can now access DataFarming’s 10 x 10 metre resolution NDVI images through the SummitConnect user platform free of charge.
The images are updated at least every five days for continuous in-season monitoring, and can be accessed back to January 2017.
Summit already operates the inSITE platform, which allows growers to view and download their entire soil and plant test history.
Growers with paddock boundaries already loaded into inSITE can now overlay this soil-analysis data on to DataFarming’s NDVI maps
Summit has said the DataFarming images can be used to:
Monitor crop and pasture health;
Pinpoint on-ground issues, dry matter and crop or pasture quality;
Identify problem areas prior to soil or plant testing;
Save time and money knowing where to best target fertiliser applications.
Track a person’s location in-field while crop scouting; and,
Select a regional view for a broader look at the local area.
“Summit has long held the view that a properly implemented soil and plant analysis program is the best foundation for building more informed nutrient-application decisions,” Summit field research manager Dr Mark Gherardi said in the company’s latest newsletter.
“To that end, it’s important to identify what you’ve got before you can truly determine what you need.
“Combining our laboratory analysis data with remote-sensing information was a logical step for us.”
He said this could “generate a lot of complexity” which can make data overwhelming, or create a time-consuming task.
Dr Gherardi said DataFarming’s goal of making grower access to precision agriculture as easy as possible, and breaking down some of the barriers for farmers to adoption, complemented Summit’s expertise in crop nutrition.
“DataFarming shares our philosophy with regard to digital technology and integrating the technology into usable agricultural practices.
“It may be as simple as looking to gauge some near real-time feedback, or historic analysis of the relationship between soil-nutrient testing, fertiliser applications and crop and pasture growth.
Source: Summit Fertilizers