Yesterday I headed out past Dalwallinu (250km north east of Perth) to take part in the Liebe Group's annual Spring Field Day. This event attracts over 200 growers, agronomists and service providers every year and they are all there to see the results of field trials. Field trials if you don't know are the testing of different varieties of grain in varying conditions like soil type, nitrogen rate, sowing depth and other relevant factors for that area.
Earlier this year one of the Liebe Group's members suggested that we perform a flyover of their trial site with our fixed-wing drone using the near-infrared camera. The idea would be that we could then present the results, that is plant biomass and vigour in the form of NDVI, to the attendees as they performed their in-field assessments. This would provide an additional layer of information over and above what they could see with their eyes. And of course, we jumped at the chance confident that these growers would have never seen information like this before.
4D Delta's stand at the marquee
Ed Boxall from Sensorem headed up to the trial site several days before the event and performed a couple of flights taking super high resolution near-infrared imagery (less than 4cm per pixel!). We processed the data into a highly detailed orthomosaic (one big photo) of the farm including the oh-so-important trial plots. The detail was so incredible that not only was it clear to see how every plot was performing against the other, but every plant in every plot too!
NDVI map of the farm with the trials
Needless to say there was a fair bit of interest in our imagery on the day. One of my favourite moments was showing a farmer the differences in each plot in the imagery and then, using my iPad, walking straight to that area where we could could clearly see the differences in the vegetation as was suggested by the imagery. The farmers started using the imagery to look at all the other plots and how they were performing, using the new information as part of their decision making.
I had a great day at the Liebe Group Spring Field Day and got to meet a whole bunch of good people. Thanks to everyone who came by our stand.
If you are interested in seeing some of the imagery then please send us an email via our CONTACT US page.