Blog
July 12, 2020

Find Crop Stress Before it Robs your Yield

Manal Elarab, PhD
Chief Operating Officer

Lessons learned last season: detecting and tracking crop damage over time

CropQuest used FluroSense for the first time in the 2019 growing season. It allowed the team to get comfortable with the tools and develop their scouting program around the tech-driven products offered by FluroSense. One of the biggest learnings was understanding crop stress over time, and deciding on the optimal time to act on it. For some types of stress, the actions are not possible in the season, but instead, they take place after harvest or at planting.

One of the biggest learnings from piloting FluroSense in 2019 was CropQuest's team understanding crop stress over time, and deciding on the optimal time to act on it.

Here is an example of the field from last season (2019) where remote sensing imagery showed growing stress during the course of the season. The early stress in the Northern part of the field was scouted and identified to be ponding as a result of a lot of rain. After ponding has prevented the crop emergence, the area remained bare (no vegetation) and showed high reflectance in the thermal band and low in NDVI.

Other areas in the field suggested for scouting and outlined with geo-referenced polygons by FluroSense smart crop stress detection algorithms were regularly scouted by agronomists to see if poor soil conditions in parts of this field would make crop susceptible to disease or pest attacks.

Gibson states that most of the damage was able to be reversed when they identified it. This can be seen in the reduction of stressed areas from 7.8 acres in July to 3.9 acres in August.

For some fields where the Crop Stress monitoring system wasn't commissioned in the last growing season, and the stress wasn't prevented in time it caused the "dip" in the yield visible at a later growth stage, as seen in the above drone image taken by John Gibson.

As a result of these post-season findings in 2019 CropQuest team decided to grow its program with FluroSense in 2020 and is now securing the crop condition of many more growers using FluroSense crop stress alerts.

Summary

For more examples of how crop stress detection pays, please, refer to this article. If you would like to get access to advanced crop scouting tools and integrate them into your crop protection program or a precision ag offering to your growers, just like CropQuest did, don't hesitate to contact us.

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