• TerrAvion TerrAvion
  • Jun 16
  • 3 min read

Crop damage

TerrAvion imagery has many use cases during the growing season providing farmers plenty of opportunity for ROI

Crop damage happens for many reasons and at any time, from weather events, pests, system failures to herbicide drift. Some crop damage can be reversed or even prevented if it is spotted early enough. A recent study found that crop loss by pest and pathogens in the USA MidWest and Canada alone is for Wheat 17.9%, Corn 21.3%, Potato 8.1%, and Soybean 25% on average. And that does not include crop loss from weather events. TerrAvion subscription imagery with its high-resolution Vigor and Thermal bands can detect many reversible issues weeks before they are visible by the eye.

But some crop damage is irreversible and happens without much warning. Also, in those cases, high-resolution and affordable imagery can be valuable. While TerrAvion subscription imagery offers many uses cases during the whole growing season, our customers also have been using their imagery to successfully make insurance claims.

Imagery for insurance claims

In 2019 in the USA, more than 370 million acres of farmland were protected through the Federal Crop Insurance Program called the Multiple Peril Crop Insurance (MPCI). In that year, farms in the United States occupied approximately 897 million acres, which means that the MPCI protects more than 40% of farmland. This does not include the Crop-Hail insurance offered through private insurers. The MPCI has to be purchased before planting and covers a broad range of natural causes, including drought, excessive moisture, freeze, and disease. It has a full range of coverage options, including yield and price protections. Subscription imagery is a great tool to help with any insurance claim during the season.

In 2019, crop insurance protected 8.8 million acres providing $8.6 billion in liability protection.Farmers paid $171.2 million for this protection.Crop insurers paid $327.5 million in crop losses in 2019.Crop-Hail insurance, on the other hand, can be bought at any time during the growing season. The Crop-Hail policies are, in particular, valuable in areas where hail is frequently occurring, as hail has the unique ability to destroy a significant portion of a field while leaving the remainder undamaged.

So how does imagery help you make an accurate claim to insurance? How do you know what portion of your field will not provide the yield expected? 

Hail damage

Damaged corn after a hailstorm can be easily detected in TerrAvion imageryHigh-resolution aerial imagery can help growers evaluate storm damage in their fields. The NDVI images in the example below shows damage from a  hailstorm. The imagy from June 21 shows a high vigor field evenly growing field (the green color). The images on the consequtive days shows how the vigor in certain parts has gone down (red/yellow areas). The low vigor areas show stressed plants that have suffered damage from the hail. The in-field image on the right was taken shortly after the storm in the part of the field that was showing the low vigor. The histogram shows how many acres are in the low vigor areas which can be used for insurance claims. Imagery can help quantify crop damage and decide whether a foliar fertilizer application is appropriate, if it makes sense to replant the field, or if it's necessary to file an insurance claim.

Insurance GIF-original


TerrAvion imagery is integrated with Skymatics. The SkyClaim tools makes it easy for farmers to process their insurance claims.

Want to learn more about how to use imagery for crop damage? Complete the form below and we will be in touch.