This item has been supplied by a forage marketer and has not been edited, verified or endorsed by Hay & Forage Grower.Regularly updated satellite imagery is a valuable tool in a farmer’s arsenal to spot problems earlier and save money scouting by going straight to problem areas needing investigation. However, despite the increasing amount of imagery available, it has remained out of the reach of many farmers due to prohibitively expensive software packages with opaque pricing structures.
fieldmargin is offering an alternative to this with their new ‘Field Health’ feature which will be available as part of their Pro plan. This allows farmers to get regularly updated satellite imagery of their farm with NDVI analysis and 3 years of history from as little as £5/month. Farmers can get a free two-week trial before subscribing so they can see the value of the imagery before paying anything and once they subscribe they can cancel if they are not seeing sufficient value from the service.
fieldmargin is collaborating with Sentinel HUB to provide imagery from Sentinel-2 satellites, part of the European Space Agency’s Copernicus programme. New imagery is available on average weekly (dependent on cloud coverage) and to a resolution of 10m.
Having an overview of variation within fields across the whole farm updated on a weekly basis makes it easy to spot areas that are not performing well before they become evident in the field or that may be missed altogether if that spot was not visited when walking the field. This saves significant time scouting as areas with problems can be marked using notes and viewed on the fieldmargin app so the farmer can go directly to these areas to identify the cause of the problem rather than walking the whole field.
fieldmargin’s CEO, Rob Carter, says “This technology has been available to the ‘big guys’ for a while; we are bringing a much-needed service to every farmer at a groundbreaking price.”
Spotting problems early reduces yield loss because issues can be treated before they get out of hand and saves money as there is the potential to use less inputs to prevent the spread of the problem.
Farmers have found it easy to get up and running with the maps, quickly using the new tool to take action that improves farm productivity. Jaco Theron, a farm manager in Arizona, USA, has used the imagery to track the effect that changes to his irrigation have on his crop performance. As a result of this he identified fields that were being over-watered. This improvement in efficiency has saved him hundreds of litres of water per month.
It’s not just arable farmers who see the potential of the tool. Within their beta fieldmargin received positive feedback from livestock farmers looking to use the imagery to manage pasture growth and forestry managers who have spotted and stopped the spread of tree disease using the imagery.
The core features of fieldmargin remain completely free. This allows farmers to make a digital map of their farm that all their team can access to make located notes and tasks, quickly building up a record of what is done. It is quick and easy to sign up and to trial the new Field Health functionality.