Canadian precision agriculture supplier and consultancy DynAgra has completed its first precision agriculture campaign using DMCii satellite imagery to provide sophisticated agronomic tools to its customers. DynAgra tasked DMCii with acquiring multi-spectral imagery of agricultural plots in the province of Alberta. DMCii provided the imagery in an orthorectified format that could be used immediately in their GIS applications.
Alex Melnitchouck, Senior Research Agronomist explained the reasons for working with DMCii, “DMCii were able to acquire cloud free imagery of the target areas during the very brief 2-3 week summer growing season in Western Canada.”
DMCii is claimed to be in the unique position of having an operational constellation of 5 satellites, each of which is able to image a very large area in a given timeframe as the very wide swath images acquired offer daily revisit to global targets.
Owen Hawkins, Business Development Manager, DMCii explained the advantage of constellation imaging, “The Disaster Monitoring Constellation enables us to image very large areas in a short period of time, by coordinating the satellites we can provide daily revisit to an area. This is a big advantage when conducting such a time sensitive remote sensing campaign and offers significant commercial and technical advantages to our customers.”
Agronomy service providers are experiencing growing demand for precision agriculture tools and services. This is driven mainly by increasing fertiliser costs and crop prices, and growers increasing awareness that investment in simple technical tools can result in significant cost efficiencies, whilst improving crop output. DynAgra uses the imagery from DMCii along with crop models to produce maps showing the density of green biomass. The company’s experts then work with the farmer to map out management zones within the fields.
The management zones are then further investigated by DynAgra’s team of agronomists and remote sensing engineers using GPS-enabled Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs) to locate the management zones and record additional information about the concentration of nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, soil organic matter, pH and other soil characteristics.
Once the required information has been compiled, DynAgra produces a geographically referenced fertiliser application map for farmers describing which fertiliser should be used, where and in what quantity.