January 16, 2019

Detecting frost impact in grain using the red-edge band

Anastasia Volkova, PhD
Chief Executive Officer

One of the benefits of using the Red Edge spectral band in monitoring crops is that it can often detect stress in a crop much earlier than other bands. This early warning lets growers and their crop advisors intervene early to either recover the yield or cut their losses and reallocate inputs to other areas more better yield potential.

A recent example of this was when a FluroSat customer’s grain crop was hit by frost in early spring. The CCCI and NDRE indices that use Red Edge generated from satellite data captured the same day identified a significant decrease in chlorophyll content in an area of the paddock. It wasn’t until almost 2 weeks later that the impact was detected in NDVI and MSAVI.

The images below show the CCCI and NDVI maps of the paddock on the day of the frost event. The CCCI map shows a large low-performance area that I have circled in blue, while the NDVI map looks much healthier.

The below NDVI map of the paddock 10 days later now show the extent of frost damage.

Understanding both the existence and extent of the frost damage, the grower and crop advisor are able to make a more informed and earlier decision on whether to cut the affected section for hay immediately or continue to grow it for reaping.

Download the pdf of frost management return on investment (ROI) brochure below.

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