Blogs

Evapotranspirartion In Agriculture

Evapotranspiration is a crucial process by which water is transferred from the land to the atmosphere by evaporation from the soil and by transpiration from living plants.

Button 3: Select a field: By clicking on this button, the user will be taken to another screen on which they can select the boundary points of a region they want to be monitored through satellites. A point can be selected on the map by long pressing on the screen for about 1 second. At least three points must be selected. Once the points are selected, the user will click on the submit button. At this point, our server will generate metadata of the selected field including the approximate field area of the bounded region. According to the field area, the payment screen will appear through which user will have to select one of the four options (1 month, 3 months, 6 months, 12 months) depending upon the cultivation cycle of the user.

 

 

Button 1: My Fields: The button opens another screen on which the field results are visualized on the map. If the user has multiple fields, they can toggle between results of multiple fields from the field addresses given at the bottom of the screen. On the right side, there are buttons of : Map Controls, Index Results, Reports, Weather Data and Field Chat. 

 

 

Map Controls: From map controls, users can choose a. which index result to display on the map, b. the date of the satellite visit of the results, c. the colormap of the displayed result. By clicking the “show on map” button, the results of the selected option will be displayed on the map.

Index Results: On this screen, a line graph is displayed of several indices, providing a time series analysis of the field.

 

 

Reports: On this screen, the dates for which the reports are available is displayed. These dates are listed in two different categories: successful days and failed days. Successful days are the days on which the satellite was able to capture results of the field successfully. Failed days are the days on which the satellite was not able to capture results of the field due to cloud cover. By clicking on any on the dates, the report will be displayed on the app.

Weather Data: This screen provides the current weather data as well as weather forecast of the field (7 days forecast).

Field Chat: On this screen, users can start discussion about their fields (problems, solutions etc) with other community members. Users can upload field images too with the post and comment on the posts as well as the individual images.

 

Button 2: Public Fields: This screen consists of a list of our farmers who have voluntarily made their field data public so that the other farmers can see the progress of these farmers through time. By clicking on the address of the public field, user will be directed to the map on which the field results will be displayed.

We will keep posting about any such informative information on to our blogs, to help as many people as possible. Farmonaut is built upon a vision to bridge the technological gap between farmers and strives to bring state-of-the-art technologies in the hands of each and every farmer. For any queries/suggestions, please contact us at support@farmonaut.com.

We have some more interesting articles coming up soon. Stay tuned!

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FARMONAUT

Satellite Based Crop Health Monitoring, Crop Issue Identification System, Farmers’ Social Network, Govt. Approved Farming Database, Satellite Imagery Access For Research and Much More

Soil Organic Carbon And Its Importance In Agriculture

INTRODUCTION

Soil organic carbon is the carbon that remains in the soil after partial decomposition of any material produced by living organisms. It is present as a main component of soil organic matter and is
believed to play crucial role for many soil functions and ecological properties. The amount of organic carbon present in a soil depends upon the local geology, climatic conditions, land use and management. Organic carbon is mainly present in the top soil (2500 pg of c to 2-m depth).The amount of carbon that is present in the soil is twice larger the amount present in atmosphere hence soil act as an important reservoir of carbon. 

IMPACT ON AGRICULTURE

Soil organic carbon is the basis of sustainable agriculture. Farmers are interested in retaining and increasing soil organic carbon for individual fields in order to improve soil health and yield. One of the main reasons behind this is the ability of soil organic carbon in maintaining the soil fertility. SOC improves soil aeration, water retention capacity, drainage, and enhances microbial growth. As carbon stored in the soil is increased carbon is “sequestered” (long -term storage) and risk of loss of nutrients through leaching and erosion is reduced. When the amount of carbon in the soil is increased it reduces the amount of carbon dioxide present in the atmosphere which provides a better climatic condition for plant growth. An increase in soil organic carbon results in more stable carbon cycle and enhanced overall agricultural productivity. 

DEPLETION OF SOIL ORGANIC CARBON

According to the study conducted in Sweden, nationwide the 270 TG c stocks in agriculture surface soil is rapidly decreasing at a rate of 1 TG per year. One of the reasons behind this according to the study of GUO and GIFFORD is change in land use pattern. There is a chance of reduction of 10% of c stock when there is change in land use from forest to crop land. Unsustainable management practices like excessive irrigation, over grazing, deforestation, excessive tillage, practice of burning agricultural fields also causes soc losses. A large amount of carbon in the soil is reduced due to plant harvesting processes. The process of decomposition done by micro-organisms present in the soil where half of the organic carbon is released in the form of carbon dioxide is a major reason behind soil organic carbon depletion. Greater root bio-mass also results in carbon loss due to increased rate of respiration that take place through these roots. The amount of organic carbon present in the soil is affected by factors like climate, texture, hydrology (water content), land use and vegetation. When the amount of carbon in soil is reduced it affects the ability of soil to supply nutrients to the plant which in turn leads to low yield and affect food security. It also reduces the soil bio-diversity since it affects the growth of microbes. Global warming also contributes in depletion of organic matter present in the soil.

PRACTICES TO PROMOTE SOIL CARBON STORAGE 

Soil carbon storage is a vital ecosystem service. In an agricultural land soil carbon loss takes place as a result of improper methods of soil managements such as excessive tillage, increased rate of irrigation, increased use of chemical fertilizers etc. 

  • One of the most effective methods for leaving the soil undisturbed is the practice of zero-tillage. 
  • Soil fertility can be maintained by introducing proper management strategy for grazing and by reducing the use of chemical fertilizers. Replacing chemical fertilizers with organic fertilizers and manures will help to restore the soil health. 
  • Erosion of top soil which brings down the amount of carbon present in soil can be controlled by maintaining the ground cover. Growing cover crops like eucalyptus can reduce the wash away of top soil. 
  • Excessive irrigation can deteriorate soil health. So the amount of water supplied to the plants should be according to its needs, not more, not less. 
  • Another method of increasing carbon storage is by growing high yield, high biomass crops. 
  • The amount of carbon present in the soil will increase if the crop frequency of a place is maxi-mum.

HOW TO ACHIEVE THIS 

Monitoring the field to assess whether the change in management is restoring or depleting the carbon resource is an important step towards protecting the soil organic carbon content. This can be done using the technology of remote sensing. Quantitative and qualitative estimation of soil using the conventional method is difficult since soil show variability from site to site even within the same field. The method of remote sensing is cost-effective and rapid. FARMONAUT app uses remote sensing technology to create a SOC image that provides color map of percentage of organic matter present in the selected field. If the content of SOC is more than 5% the area appears dark green in the color map and it appears red if the SOC content is less than 1%.Change in SOC content with time is also  noted with the help of remote sensing in FARMONAUT. This provides precise information to the farmers which help them to take the right measures, in the right time, and in the right place hence ensuring productivity and soil health. 

Once Farmonaut data has identified some locations to be having less SOC levels, farmers can get the soil testing done on those regions and add required nutrients to those regions to rejuvenate the soil organic matter levels. This will ultimately lead to better yields.

We will keep posting about any such informative information on to our blogs, to help as many people as possible. Farmonaut is built upon a vision to bridge the technological gap between farmers and strives to bring state-of-the-art technologies in the hands of each and every farmer. For any queries/suggestions, please contact us at support@farmonaut.com.

We have some more interesting articles coming up soon. Stay tuned!

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How Natural Farming Can Reinvent The Way Farming is Done Today - Viswamatha Farms | A Case Study

The agricultural practices in use today have a very big impact on the environment. Pollutants, waste, soil degradation, irrigation problems, deforestation, climate change are damaging the agriculture in one way or the other. Excessive use of urea, nitrate, pesticides etc. have affected air, water, and soil quality in a severe way.

Natural Farming

Natural farming is touted as the answer to the above mentioned issues. It was first made popular by Masanobu Fukuoka (Japan) and is famously known as ‘Do-nothing farming’ or ‘No-tillage farming’. This idea in it’s simplest form is to allow nature play a prominent role to as much extent as possible. The farmer is only considered as a care-taker and most of the work is done by the nature itself. Moreover, there are no good or bad organisms in a natural farm. Existence of all of them is important for a balanced ecosystem.

Key Principles of Natural Farming

No till farming – growth of weeds is enhanced if the soil is ploughed since it alters the natural environment of the soil.

No weeding by tillage or herbicides – weeds are suppressed by spreading straw over newly sown land and growing ground cover.

No chemical fertilizers – adding chemical fertilizers can help in the growth of the plant but not of the soil.

No chemical pesticides – nature’s own balancing act prevents any one species from gaining the upper hand.

Viswamatha Farms

Viswamatha farms was born from a passion to share natural farming with the world.

http://viswamathafarms.com/

It believes in the power of nature and the positive change it can have on our land and peoples lives. It is  passionate about real natural food that tastes great, is of highest quality, is full of nutrients and is good for our health and environment.

All the products are produced by natural farming techniques of Shri.Subhash Palekar ji with out using any chemicals.

Viswamatha Farms has been using Farmonaut’s Satellite Based Crop Health Monitoring System since September, 2019.

 

About The Farm

Viswamatha farms owns and cultivates pulses, millets, rice, spices, groundnut, gingle, vegetables and fruits. The farm is situated in Andhra Pradesh, south India.

The farm is a healthy mix of agriculture, horticulture, floriculture and animal husbandary. Apart from their own farms, viswamatha farms has created natural farming farmers group to cater to the growing requirement of quality products.

Viswamatha farms owns Ongole breed cows and country chicken for farm yard manure. The Cows & country chicken are stress free and free to roam and graze in the fields. 

 

 

Natural Farming Practices Used By Viswamatha Farms

Viswamatha farms enrich the soil nutrients by using jeevamruth which is a fermented microbial culture. It provides nutrients but most importantly acts as catalytic agent that promotes the activities of micro-organism in the soil as well as increases earth worms activity. During 48 hours of fermentation process the aerobic and anaerobic bacteria present in the cow dung and cow urine multiply as they eat up organic ingradient (pulse flour mixed in the jeevamruth) in the jeevamruth. A handful of undisturbed soil from the field bunds also added to jeevamruth as inoculate of native spices of microbes and organism.

 

Jeevamruth also helps to prevent fungal and bacterial plant diseases.

Insects and pests are managed by using specially prepared mixtures called as neemastram, agniastram, brahastram, dasaparni kashayam. These mixtures involve cow dung, cow urine, neem leaves, neem pulp, green chillies and other herbs as required to manage the pests and diseases.

Impact of Natural Farming Methods in Combination With Remote Sensing in the Previous Season

Viswamatha Farms harvested their major crop Red Gram in the month of February, 2020. The images below attached are of the red gram plants in the Viswamatha farms nearly after one month of harvesting.

The images shown below are of the farm nearby to Viswamatha farms which was using the contemporary methods of farming (not natural farming) and also harvested red gram from their field at the same. The images are of one month after the harvesting was done.

As we can clearly see, the red gram plants in the neighboring field of Viswamatha farms are completely dead and dry, whereas the same are still live and healthy in Viswamatha farms even after one month.

Natural Farming in Combination With Remote Sensing

In parallel to the natural farming practices, Viswamatha farms has also been referring to the satellite data provided by Farmonaut through our platform (available on android, iOS as well as web app) to take field level actions and minimize the efforts even further.

Viswamatha Farms is one of our most important users and as quoted by Mr. G.K. Rao of Viswamatha Farms:

“We are bringing awareness on progressive farmers and asking them to use your services for the crop monitoring”

By using satellite data provided by us, farmers can:

1. Reduce Chemical/Fertilizer consumption by applying them only in the locations where crop health is not good.

2. Reduce Labour costs by directing the labours only in those field areas where crop health is critical.

3. Reduce irrigation water wastage by applying proper irrigation only in those locations where plant water stress is low.

4. Increase overall yield.

For any queries and collaborations, please feel free to contact us on: support@farmonaut.com or +91-6366026267.

MoU Signed With STEI Foundation Africa

We are delighted to announce that we have signed a two-year MoU with STEI Foundation, Africa.

STEi Foundation ( Sustainable TransEnvironment International Foundation) was established in 2017 to contribute to greening the environment and empowering the women and young people in rural Africa and currently has a representation in Thirteen (13) African Countries, namely: Ghana, Tanzania, Tunisia, South Africa, Cameron, Angola, Mauritius, Kenya, Rwanda, Namibia, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Nigeria.  Nigeria is the seat of STEi Foundation’s Corporate Governance.

The objective of this MoU is:

Promotion of Remote Sensing technologies for farming amongst the farmers in Nigeria and the countries in Africa in which the STEI Foundation is present.

Through this program, Farmonaut in collaboration with the STEI Foundation will:

1. Create awareness amongst the farmers about the importance of remote sensing technology in agriculture. 

 

2. Educate farmers about the scientific background of the working of the remote sensing technology and the ways it can increase crop yield, reduce irrigation water loss and reduce fertilizers/chemical usage. 

 

3. Assist farmers with understanding the remote sensing technologies provided by Farmonaut and encourage them in using the remote sensing system provide by Farmonaut. 

Farmonaut will provide the technological support to the STEI foundation and the STEI foundation will be conducting the on-field engagement support to make this program a success. 

 

 

Remote Sensing Technologies Provided By Farmonaut

1. Crop Health Monitoring 

 

Farmers can select their field and identify the regions of the field at which the crop growth is not normal. Upon identifying that region of their fields, they can simply pay a visit to that part of the field and identify if the problem has already started. If it has not, the farmer can take preventive remedies by applying more fertilizers, plant growth regulators etc. If the problem has already started, they can simply explain their problem to Farmonaut’s crop issue identification system and get real-time govt. approved remedies. For the same, our system provides two different sets of images. One set of images provide crop health status if your crop is in the early stage of growth and the second set of images provided crop health status if your crop is in the later stage of growth.

 

Read More in Detail on these links.

 

Early Stage Crop Health: https://farmonaut.com/blogs/remote-sensing/normalized-difference-vegetation-index-ndvi/

 

Later Stage Crop Health: https://farmonaut.com/blogs/remote-sensing/ndvi-vs-ndre-and-their-applications-in-agriculture/

 

 

 

2. Vegetation Water Level Monitoring 

Vegetation cover on the earth’s surface undergoes severe stress during a drought. If affected areas are not identified in time, entire crops may be damaged. Hence, the early detection of water stress can prevent many of the negative impacts on crops. Vegetation Water Level Imagery provided by Farmonaut can help control irrigation, significantly improving agriculture, especially in areas where meeting the need for water is difficult.

Read more in detail on this link: https://farmonaut.com/blogs/remote-sensing/normalized-difference-water-index-ndwi/

Using automated crop monitoring service, farmers will automatically receive a. crop health report and b. vegetation water level report from latest satellite imagery every 5-10 days. They will also be updated with near real-time weather report of their field from the nearest weather station. They can put multiple fields for monitoring from their profile as well.The satellite imagery is updated every 5- 10 days and has a resolution of 10 meters.

The app is available on the following link:

 https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.farmonaut.android

We will keep posting about any such informative information on to our blogs, to help as many people as possible. Farmonaut is built upon a vision to bridge the technological gap between farmers and strives to bring state-of-the-art technologies in the hands of each and every farmer. For any queries/suggestions, please contact us at support@farmonaut.com.

We have some more interesting articles coming up soon. Stay tuned!

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Snow Cover Analysis Using NDSI

INTRODUCTION

Soil organic carbon is the carbon that remains in the soil after partial decomposition of any material produced by living organisms. Soil organic carbon is present as a main component of soil organic matter. Soil organic carbon is
believed to play crucial role for many soil functions and ecological properties. The amount of organic carbon present in a soil depends upon the local geology, climatic conditions, land use and management. Organic carbon is
mainly present in the top soil (2500 pg of c to 2-m depth).The amount of carbon that is present in the soil is twice larger the amount present in atmosphere hence soil act as an important reservoir of carbon. 

IMPACT ON AGRICULTURE

Soil organic carbon is the basis of sustainable agriculture. Farmers are interested in retaining and increasing soil organic carbon for individual fields in order to improve soil health and yield. One of the main reasons behind this is the ability of soil organic carbon in maintaining the soil fertility. SOC improves soil aeration, water retention capacity, drainage, and enhances microbial growth. As carbon stored in the soil is increased carbon i “sequestered” (long -term storage) and risk of loss of nutrients through leaching and erosion is reduced. When the amount of carbon in the soil is increased it reduces the amount of carbon dioxide present in the atmosphere which provides a better climatic condition for plant growth. An increase in soil organic carbon results in more stable carbon cycle and enhanced overall agricultural productivity. 

 

DEPLETION OF SOIL ORGANIC CARBON

According to the study conducted in Sweden, nationwide the 270 TG c stocks in agriculture surface soil is rapidly decreasing at a rate of 1 TG per year. One of the reasons behind this according to the study of GUO and GIFFORD is change in land use pattern. There is a chance of reduction of 10% of c stock when there is change in land use from forest to crop land. Unsustainable management practices like excessive irrigation, over grazing, deforestation, excessive tillage, practice of burning agricultural fields also causes soc losses. A large amount of carbon in the soil is reduced due to plant harvesting processes. The process of decomposition done by micro-organisms present in the soil where half of the organic carbon is released in the form of carbon dioxide is a major reason behind soil organic carbon depletion. Greater root bio-mass also result in carbon loss due to increased rate of respiration that take place through these roots. The amount of organic carbon present in the soil is affected by factors like climate, texture, hydrology (water content), land use and vegetation. When the amount of carbon in soil is reduced it affects the ability of soil to supply nutrients to the plant which in turn leads to low yield and affect food security. It also reduces the soil bio-diversity since it effects the growth of microbes. Global warming also contributes in depletion of organic matter present in the soil.

PRACTICES TO PROMOTE SOIL CARBON STORAGE 

Soil carbon storage is a vital ecosystem service. In an agricultural land soil carbon loss take place as a result of improper methods of soil managements such as excessive tillage, increased rate of irrigation, increased use of chemical fertilizers etc. One of the most effective methods for leaving the soil undisturbed is the practice of zero-tillage. Soil fertility can be maintained by introducing proper management strategy for grazing and by reducing the use of chemical fertilizers. Replacing chemical fertilizers with organic fertilizers and manures will help to restore the soil health. Erosion of top soil which bring the down the amount of carbon present in soil can be controlled by maintaining the ground cover. Growing cover crops like eucalyptus can reduce the wash away of top soil. Excessive irrigation can deteriorate soil health. So the amount of water supplied to the plants should be according to its needs, not more, not less. Another method of increasing carbon storage is by growing high yield, high biomass crops. The amount of carbon present in the soil will increase if the crop frequency of a place is maxi-mum. 

 

HOW TO ACHIEVE THIS 

Monitoring the field to assess whether the change in management is restoring or depleting the carbon resource is an important step towards protecting the soil organic carbon content. This can be done using the technology of remote sensing. Quantitative and qualitative estimation of soil using the conventional method is difficult since soil show variability form site to site even within the same field. The method of remote sensing is cost-effective and rapid. FARMONAUT app uses remote sensing technology to create a SOC image that provides color map of percentage of organic matter present in the selected field. If the content of SOC is more than 5% the area appears dark green in the color map and it appears red if the SOC content is less than 1%.Change in SOC content with time is also  noted with the help of remote sensing in FARMONAUT. This provides precise information to the farmers which help them to take the right measures, in the right time, and in the right place hence ensuring productivity and soil health.

 

NDVI vs NDRE And Their Applications In Agriculture

NDVI (Normalized Difference Vegetation Index) and NDRE (Normalized Difference Red Edge) are known as “index products” which are primarily used to estimate crop health in an agricultural field. Both of these indexes are constructed from a combination of two distinct frequencies of light. NDVI is built with a combination of visual red light and near-infrared (NIR) light. NDVI is discussed in detail in a separate article. You can read the detailed article on this link below:

https://farmonaut.com/blogs/remote-sensing/normalized-difference-vegetation-index-ndvi/

 

NDRE uses a combination of near-infrared light and a frequency band that is in the transition region between visual red and NIR light.

One of the most common question being asked is NDVI or NDRE, which one should I use?  And what we say to this is that it depends upon the growth stage of your crops in the farming field.

 

NDVI is a more commonly used index to estimate crop health of a given field. In simple words, NDVI correlates with chlorophyll, which then in turn correlates with plant health. Having NDVI information of a particular field can help us identify crop health in their earlier growth stages.

However, it isn’t perfect and accurate for all crops and for all stages of crop growth. The visual-band red content is absorbed quite strongly by the top of the plant canopy, which means that the NDVI measurements do not have contribution from the lower levels of the canopy. Hence, leaf area index (LAI) and its correlation with NDVI is partially impaired. If the plants have more layers of leaves (for example, tree canopies), this impairment of correlation of LAI with NDVI increases.

Furthermore, in grasses, cereal crops, permanent crops and in certain row crops which are in their later growth stages, chlorophyll content reaches a point at which NDVI reaches a maximum value of 1.0 and hence saturates. Hence, any crop health issue is hard to detect with NDVI until any such problem becomes strong enough to reduce the NDVI value below 1.0. This may happen at a point at which damage has already occurred.

NDRE

NDRE OFFERS A SOLUTION

By substituting NDVI’s red band with NDRE’s red edge band we can mitigate this issue of saturation discussed abovev. NDRE’s red edge band provides a measurement that is not as strongly absorbed by just the topmost layers of leaves. By using NDRE, one can get better insight into crops in their later stage because it is able to observe further down into the canopy as well.

NDRE = (NIR – RE)/(NIR + RE)

NDRE is also less prone to saturation in the presence of dense vegetation. This will help us get much accurate results in pasture biomass estimation measurements. Thus, in situations like these, NDRE can provide a much accurate and better measurement of variability in an area in which the NDVI measurement would come simply as 1.0

So, in conclusion, if the crops of observation are permanent or dense, you should use NDRE right away. Ofcourse, using both the indices together is often the most ideal solution. A lot of farmers with crops that transition from seed to thick canopies in a single season make use of both NDVI and NDRE.

Farmonaut’s Automated Satellite Based Crop Health Monitoring System provides a farmer with both NDVI and NDRE results for crop health status measurements everytime the satellite crosses the farmer’s field.

We will keep posting about any such informative information on to our blogs, to help as many people as possible. Farmonaut is built upon a vision to bridge the technological gap between farmers and strives to bring state-of-the-art technologies in the hands of each and every farmer. For any queries/suggestions, please contact us at support@farmonaut.com.

We have some more interesting articles coming up soon. Stay tuned!

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Cloud Coverage Analysis From Satellite Imagery

Cloud coverage essentially means the fraction of sky covered with clouds. In this article, we will illustrate a technique to find cloud cover percentage explicitly for beginners in image processing and discuss the limitations of the technique.

Naturally, the first question that comes into mind is why do we need to find the cloud cover percentage? Why is it so important? Lets review some of the reasons.

The most basic reason, is that cloud reflects roughly 90 percent of radiation back into space and at the same time it traps the outgoing radiation, which is known as the greenhouse effect. Hence, cloud cover has a large influence on the climate.

Climate change in turn can be the reason of natural hazards. Global warming decreases the temperature difference between the poles and the equator and hence, can increase the number of intense storms.

In conclusion, cloud cover distribution affects the weather system, heat situation of the surface, atmospheric conditions and other factors therefore, making it important for us to keep a check on it.

himalayan clouds

METHOD

Cloud cover percentage of a satellite image can be found basic python codes and a decent amount of manual work.

Consider a satellite image with a fair cloud coverage. First of all, we need to check the pixel values of the cloudy area in the image in order to narrow down the range of pixel values of the cloud.

It is important to pass a grayscale image, so that instead of dealing with three values for each pixel in an RGB image, you get equivalent one pixel value in the grayscale image. Since the clouds are white in color, the closer the pixel value is to 255, greater is the intensity of the cloud.

Since the density of cloud may be thick and thin in different regions, the intensity of whiteness at different regions will be different as well. Hence, the generated pixel values are to be interpreted and we need to find the range of pixel values the cloud region lies within. The estimated upper and lower limit values will be a rough range to identify any pixel as cloudy or not.

Although this part is quite cumbersome and lengthy, it is important to find the right pixel range of cloud to get an accurate cloud cover percentage.

Once we have the range, finding the cloud cover percentage is straight forward.

Following are some pseudo codes to perform the above.

Pseudo Code #1

The program will allow user to print pixel values of a grayscale image.

#import the libraries

#read a grayscale image

#access the pixel value in the range of the height and width of the image

#print pixel values

Pseudo Code #2

2. The program will allow user to calculate cloud cover percentage

#import the libraries

#read a grayscale image

#access the pixel value in the range of the height and width of the image

#use if statement to iterate through pixel values that lie between the selected range

#add the number of such pixel values

# use the mathematical expression to find the percentage

# print the result

STUDY AND OBSERVATION

We processed the satellite images of Thaltej, Ahmedabad of 2nd june, 2018. We captured Band 3 ,Band 4, Band 5, Band 11 and ETCI image. The estimated cloud coverage of that day is 16.7579%.

We performed the operations and for each bandwidth we found out the cloud cover percentage.

 

After analyzing the pixel value of the image, we considered the pixel range of cloud to be between 86-255. Following are the results we calculated.

 

BAND

BAND 3

BAND 4

BAND 5

BAND 11

ETCI

CLOUD COVER %

16.105

15.169

14.011

20.34

27.38

 

 

The clear observation here is that we are getting varying results from each bandwidth. Since the penetration level of each bandwidth is different, we see the difference in each image. Lets go through each bandwidth briefly.

 

Band 3: The Green Band

It is used for imaging peak vegetation and water structures that can penetrate up to 90 feet deep in clear water.

Band 4: The Red Band

It is used for discriminating the vegetation slopes.

Band 5:

It is used primarily for imaging vegetation.

Band 11 :Thermal 2

It measures the heat of the ground instead of temperature of air. The ground temperature is often more hotter.

 

The idea is to go through all the results and find an estimated result. One method is that results can be referred with SWIR result to get a proper estimation. SWIR can give more accurate results as SWIR can penetrate through clouds.

 

 LIMITATIONS

The variation in results infers that the cloud cover technique has limitations.

Sometimes the overly bright surfaces such as some desert surfaces and sands, having higher pixel value gets considered in the cloud coverage is one reason for inaccurate result.

 The SWIR results can be referred with to get a proper estimation. The limitation here is that resolution of SWIR is low which makes this method not so ideal.

It is also possible that sometimes the darker or smaller “popcorn” clouds go undetected.

Another reason is that snow and clouds are hard to differentiate and very often results in inaccurate results.

In the next article, we will be focusing on differentiating between snow and clouds and discussing the importance and techniques to achieve the desired result.

We will keep posting about any such informative information on to our blogs, to help as many people as possible. Farmonaut is built upon a vision to bridge the technological gap between farmers and strives to bring state-of-the-art technologies in the hands of each and every farmer. For any queries/suggestions, please contact us at support@farmonaut.com.

We have some more interesting articles coming up soon. Stay tuned!

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Analyzing Impact of Cyclone Fani On Odisha Using Satellite Imagery And Remote Sensing Techniques

On the 3rd of May,2019, Odisha witnessed the strongest April cyclone in 43 years. With winds of more than 200 kmph, Cyclone Fani took over 64 lives and affected the lives of over 1.6 crore people in roughly 18,388 villages and 51 towns.

WHAT MAKES IT DIFFERENT?
The disastrous storm started to develop around the equator and moved upwards. It was supposed to hit Tamil Nadu, according to the IMD prediction but the cyclone Fani changed its course and traveled a longer time over the Bay of Bengal, resulting in the increased strength of the cyclone.
The cyclone finally made landfall in east India, specifically in Puri , Odisha at 8 am, also affecting Kendrapara, Bhubaneswar, Cuttack, and Khurda. It gradually made its way to Bangladesh which forced the evacuation of over 5 lakh people.

orissa-farmonaut

TOTAL LOSS
The state government of Odisha estimated a loss of Rs 12,000 crore. About 5,00,000 people have lost their houses and would need reconstruction.

Cyclone Fani uprooted over 10 million trees in total and damaged at least two million trees in Bhubaneswar alone. 


The Balukhand wildlife sanctuary , which was home for over 4,000 spotted deer, a large number of wolves and lizards have lost over 4.5 million trees. However, there is no report of large-scale wildlife loss from any other affected districts so far.

 SATELLITE IMAGERY

Cyclone Fani has proved to be profoundly unique from other cyclones which led us to analyse the affected areas of the East India coast line. For the same, we gathered satellite imagery accessible through our website (https://farmonaut.com/satellite-imagery) for two different locations which were the most affected during the cyclone. To perform these observations, we retrieved images of the following bands:

1. TCI: True Color Image, Resolution: 10 m

2. NDVI: Normalized Difference Vegetation Index, Resolution: 

10 m

3. MNDVI: Masked Normalized Difference Vegetation Index, Resolution: 10 m

4. NDWI: Normalized Difference Water Index, Resolution: 

20 m

3. MNDWI: Masked Normalized Difference Water Index, Resolution: 20 m

 

KHURDA

For Khurda, we processed the satellite images from 23rd of April till 8th of May to study the impact of the cyclone. The processed images helps enumerate the total loss and realize the scale of devastation.

LEFT TO RIGHT :23rd April to 8th May -ETCI

LEFT TO RIGHT :23rd April to 8th May -NDVI

LEFT TO RIGHT :23rd April to 8th May -MNDVI

 

The green colour in the above images indicates vegetation and the red represents construction and material objects. In the rightmost image we can, very distinctly, notice a lot orange and green at the bottom and some on the top is replaced with brown which represents the destruction of vegetation and construction. This is the purpose of satellite imagery, it is the key to tally the loss in the area after the hazard. 

We also processed the images of Kendrapara district, to gather more information about the land.

KENDRAPARA

LEFT TO RIGHT :25th April to 15th May -ETCI

LEFT TO RIGHT :25th April to 15th May -MNDVI

 In the above images, the green colour represents the vegetation. We can observe in  the bottom left corner of the rightmost image i.e after the cyclone, the green colour has faded noticebly which means that area suffered huge vegetation loss.

 

LEFT TO RIGHT :25th April to 15th May -MNDWI

In the above set of images, the green colour represents the water content in the land. The colour green has increased remarkably in the rightmost image which indicates that after the cyclone has occurred, the water content in the land has increased by quite a lot.

 WHAT DID THE GOVERNMENT DO?

Around 8 lakh people from low-slung area of Odisha were evacuated before the cyclone had occurred. The helicopters were deployed by the government to enable aerial rescue and for immediate help. Because of inaccessible road connectivity helicopters were responsible for providing relief materials such as food items, medical aid and clothing in inaccessible areas. 

Cyclones are common in many coastal areas and quite disastrous. Since precautions against a natural calamity is limited , it is necessary to develop proper plans to reduce the intensity of the destruction. This is when remote sensing comes into picture.

 

WHAT IS REMOTE SENSING, GIS AND GPS?

Remote sensing and geographic information system(GIS) is an organizing technology used to gather information. Remote sensing and spatial analysis is an effectual way to gather information from previously occurred hazard and implement plans based on that information.

WHY REMOTE SENSING TECHNOLOGY?

• We can obtain vulnerability and risk maps of a calamity that has already happened. Using them, we acquire enough information on which vulnerable parts has less or no cyclone shelters so they can be prioritized to reduce damage of lives and property in the future cyclones.

• It helps find the critical area during hazard which reduces the response time , hence reducing damage.

• The satellite images and aerial shots provides synoptic overview for a wide range of scales. The satellite provide regular images and can be used  to detect early stages of the cyclone. 

• It helps to monitor the occurrence of the cyclone. GIS or geographical information system is then used for planning evacuation routes and emergency rescue shelters.

• GIS and Global Positioning Systems (GPS) is use to study the left behind damaged area and the information gathered is used to suitably plan and build the disaster prone area accordingly.

 

Natural hazards are always disastrous and mostly unpredictable. Although hurricanes and cyclones can be tracked one day before they hit the land, it is virtually impossible to predict earthquakes. There is always a need to understand every natural hazard that occurs, and prepare for the next one.

 

The app is available for android on Google PlayStore: 

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.farmonaut.android

We will keep posting about any such informative information on to our blogs, to help as many people as possible. Farmonaut is built upon a vision to bridge the technological gap between farmers and strives to bring state-of-the-art technologies in the hands of each and every farmer. For any queries/suggestions, please contact us at support@farmonaut.com.

We have some more interesting articles coming up soon. Stay tuned!

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Normalized Difference Water Index - NDWI

Vegetation cover on the earth’s surface undergoes severe stress during a drought. If affected areas are not identified in time, entire crops may be damaged. Hence, the early detection of water stress can prevent many of the negative impacts on crops.  NDWI index can help us control irrigation in real time, significantly improving agriculture, especially in areas where meeting the need for water is difficult.

To calculated NDWI index, we need imagery from two different wavelengths, namely Near Infrared and Shortwave Infrared band imagery. And the NDWI ratio is calculated as:

NDWI = (NIR – SWIR)/(NIR + SWIR)

A short wave infrared imagery band is used because the high absorption of light by water occurs at this wavelength. NIR band is used because water does not absorb this part of the electromagnetic spectrum, thus the calculated NDWI index is resistant to atmospheric effects, making it distinguishable from NDVI.

The NDWI index is characterized by a more stable decrease in value upon reaching critical anthropogenic load, which can give an indication of the ecological state of forests.

farmonaut_ndwi2

The value of the NDVI index can range from -1.0 to 1.0. 

The high NDWI values correspond to high plant water content and coating of high plant fraction, whereas the low NDWI values correspond to low vegetation content and cover with low vegetation. NDWI rate will decrease during periods of water stress.

In the coming days, the Farmonaut’s Satellite Imagery for Farmers application will expand to include more remote sensing features beneficial for farmers. We will keep you posted about any new developments in this regards.  Stay tuned!!

For agricultural purposes, Farmonaut provides satellite based crop health monitoring system on our android app, through which farmers can select their field and identify the regions of the field at which the crop growth is not normal. Upon identifying that region of their fields, they can simply pay a visit to that part of the field and identify if the problem has already started. If it has not, the farmer can take preventive remedies by applying more fertilizers, plant growth regulators etc. If the problem has already started, they can simply explain their problem to Farmonaut’s crop issue identification system and get real-time govt. approved remedies. The satellite imagery is updated every 2-5 days and has a resolution of 10 meters which is 2 times better than google maps in rural India.

The app is available for android on Google PlayStore: 

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.farmonaut.android

We will keep posting about any such informative information on to our blogs, to help as many people as possible. Farmonaut is built upon a vision to bridge the technological gap between farmers and strives to bring state-of-the-art technologies in the hands of each and every farmer. For any queries/suggestions, please contact us at support@farmonaut.com.

We have some more interesting articles coming up soon. Stay tuned!

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Before that…

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AppLink: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.farmonaut.android

Website: https://farmonaut.com

Satellite Imagery: https://farmonaut.com/satellite-imagery

Satellite Imagery Samples: https://farmonaut.com/satellite-imagery-samples

Minutes of Meeting - Farmonaut and Chippy Pushpangathan

chippy-pushpangathan

Chippy Pushpangathan is a Research Scholar and is pursuing her PhD at the Department of Geography, School of Earth Sciences, Central University of Karnataka. Her broad area of research covers crop yield modelling using geospatial technology.

Her research topic is broadly centered around: 

“Potential of Precision Agriculture Using Geospatial Information For Kharif Cultivation in Kalaburagi District, Karnataka, India”

This research work is funded by the Department of Science and Technology (DST, Govt. of India) under INSPIRE Scheme.

To read more in detail about the project and the collaboration please read the full article on the link below:

https://farmonaut.com/blogs/farming-blogs/research-collaboration-with-chippy-pushpangathan-on-a-dst-funded-project-in-precision-agriculture/

 

 

MINUTES OF MEETING

Usage of MODIS imagery in previous works

Chippy has downloaded and used modis images and has come to a conclusion that much can’t be done with these images because the spatial resolution of the images is 250 meters, hence, we can map vegetation only on district level or state level.


Requirement of previous years’ data for reference for the current study

Chippy does not have any field level data from 2018. National crop forecasting center gathers all the field level data (latitude longitude, crop cutting etc.), but they are hard to communicate with and they rarely reply to emails.

The premilinary data required is the Latitude, Longitude data for a few fields in Aland taluk in kalaburagi district for kharif season from june to December of 2018. Gulbarga kharif season crop does not exist much since the analysis done on 15 years of MODIS imagery revealed that fields during kharif season are severely drought affected.


Current Method of Accessing Satellite Imagery Data

Currently NRSC provides satellite imagery at around INR 4k-7k per tile (70kmx70km) with a resolution of around 5.4 meter for latest imagery. The pricing is less for older image requests. However, to access imagery it is required to request it from them every time through emails with a complete request form. Sometimes they don’t even consider providing satellite imagery and it is a very big hassle to get the imagery from them periodically.


Rough roadmap of the work

Before june 2019, Krishi vigyan Kendra will help Chippy get fields for the proposed study. All the study will be done on these fields. Chippy is planning to take taluk level fields, at least a minimum of 6 farms. Images will be taken from Farmonaut periodically for each stage of crop growth, simultaneously Chippy will work on her data as well. The suggested study will have at least two to three crops for separability.


Devices to be used for ground level analysis

Leaf area index meter, Chlorophyll meter, Temperature meter etc.


Macro Level Objective and Expectations

The objective will be to correlate the ground level data with satellite data and create a yield prediction model.

If any kind of change that happens in a farm field in a particular time, the objective will be to identify how it will affect the farm. For example, if too much rainfall happens then, the objective will be to predict what could possibly happen and how much it will affect the yield.


Farmonaut currently provides two satellite imagery based products, namely:

Satellite Based Crop Health Monitoring System For Farmers (Android):

Farmonaut provides satellite based crop health monitoring system, through which farmers can select their field and identify the regions of the field at which the crop growth is not normal. Upon identifying that region of their fields, they can simply pay a visit to that part of the field and identify if the problem has already started. If it has not, the farmer can take preventive remedies by applying more fertilizers, plant growth regulators etc. If the problem has already started, they can simply explain their problem to Farmonaut’s crop issue identification system and get real-time govt. approved remedies.

Satellite Imagery Access For Research System (Android and Website)

For research purposes (non-farming usage), Farmonaut provides access to satellite imagery of any place around the through our website and android app. The satellite imagery is provided at the cheapest market rates. Accessing satellite imagery through our website is a fairly simple process:

 

 

 

Step 1:  Select the date range (From and To Date)

Step 2: Select Imagery bands required (You can select from 13 raw bands and 7 Farmonaut Processed bands)

Step 3: Select the area on the Map for which you are requesting the imagery for.

Step 4: Submit this request… wait for a few seconds

Step 5: Select specific days for which you need the imagery for.

Step 6: Make payment and voila!

You will receive the imagery automatically into your email address within the displayed time interval.

The app is available for android on Google PlayStore: 

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.farmonaut.android

We will keep posting about any such informative information on to our blogs, to help as many people as possible. Farmonaut is built upon a vision to bridge the technological gap between farmers and strives to bring state-of-the-art technologies in the hands of each and every farmer. For any queries/suggestions, please contact us at support@farmonaut.com.

We have some more interesting articles coming up soon. Stay tuned!

Wait!!

Before that…

Follow us at:

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LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/farmonaut/

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Tumblr: https://farmonaut.tumblr.com/

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCYWOOPPKATLgh4L6YRlYFOQ

AppLink: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.farmonaut.android

Website: https://farmonaut.com

Satellite Imagery: https://farmonaut.com/satellite-imagery

Satellite Imagery Samples: https://farmonaut.com/satellite-imagery-samples