When Robert Burns said that “the best laid plans of mice and men often go awry,” he may not have realized how relevant it would become for those of us in the agriculture industry as we look towards the impending growing season.
Let’s be honest, in the planning stage, it feels like there’s enough time in the world to get things going. And, as time ticks down, suddenly it feels like everything is on fire and nothing will get done.
A little dramatic? Maybe.
But, as the clock continues to wind down and the growing season continues to loom around the corner, it can feel like not all can be attained this season. Before you throw in the towel and table some of these plans for the next season (or scrap them all together), see how remote sensing might be able to help fill the gaps.
Aerial Data Capture: Rely on a Team of Pilots
Capturing high-resolution aerial imagery may have made your list of priorities for this year’s research trials. But, choosing the best drone and finding time to learn how to fly (or finding a pilot that can do it for you) can be time consuming, so it may not have made the top of the list.
The good news? You can still get the high-resolution aerial imagery for your plots this season.
Whether you need data at several points in the season or if you need one flight, using a remote pilot service can capture aerial imagery at your designated point in the season to get the data you need.
Sentera’s Flight Services team has more than 250 trained pilots around the world to use leading ag drone systems to capture aerial imagery at research plots for a variety of crops. These pilots will go to your research plot location, capture aerial imagery, and partner with you to process as requested to get you the data you need, when you need it.
Interested in seeing how you can work with the team? Learn more in this blog post.
Plant-level Measurements: Use Technology
If you’re running out of time to plan your data capture strategy for the season (especially if you are facing labor challenges), it may be best to think about using a technology provider to get the measurements you require.
There are several benefits to leveraging technology for your plant-level measurements. It removes the human element of data collection – eliminating error-prone manual processes. It can also result in more standardized data by eliminating variability between data capture points, which makes it easy to compare and build a story for the season.
Here at Sentera, our technology focuses on using aerial imagery to translate into data sets and measurements for analysis. Once aerial imagery data is captured, Sentera’s image-based deep learning engine then turns imagery into plant-level measurements, with products focused on counting plant populations, uncovering anomalies, and identifying plant classification. Reflectance-based analytics, like Crop Health and Canopy Height & Lodging, are also available.
Agronomic Modeling: Try a Validation Program
Part of what complicates the analytics ecosystem in ag comes from the seasonality of the industry. So, if it doesn’t happen this season, it means it may have to wait until next year to get started.
Our agronomic machine learning engine delivers Ag Modeling products that uses proprietary customer or ground-truth data to train and tune a model focused on key agronomic problems like forecasting yield and quality, understanding nutrient status, or predicting maturity date.
While it takes time to train and tune a model, it doesn’t mean that this can’t get started this season. Sentera offers an exclusive Validation Program to test whether a modeling solution may work for you. This program uses existing data, which can already be captured or planned for capture. This means that you can use this season to see whether this may be something that you want to build into next season’s plans.