real-time biomass maps

There is a growing list of options for remote sensing of crop biomass. Airplanes, drones, and in-crop sensors are all available as options. We have a lot of experience with the GreenSeeker sensor for collecting NDVI-R. For years we conducted  many N-rich strips within fields at different rates to determine if this method would work in our area. We won't comment on our findings here. The benefit of these sensors versus satellite is that they do provide an immediate map that can be used and it is of very high resolution. This would be of benefit in a few types of applications. However, one also needs to recognize the limitations of these is no different than satellites, the day the biomass image is taken is a reflection of how the crop is growing at that point in time. The image needs to be taken for a specific reason. There are many benefits and limitations that must be understood when considering the time and expense to utilize real-time sensors as a regular tool on the farm. 

Drone Image, Satellite Image, High Resolution NIR, Low Resolution NIR, Real-Time Biomass Maps

Figures 1 to 4 above illustrate the difference between 30 metre satellite imagery and the Swinglet Cam, a drone with resolution into the centimetres. It's easy to see how low resolution satellite imagery would not provide the maps required to foliar apply fungicides accurately.