High-quality aerial imagery data like the data provided by TerrAvion, can benefit everyone on the ag retail chain. From the major, multinational input producers and ag retailers, down to the growers, TerrAvion can help each group achieve its goals. In the case of ag retailers, one of the goals is to sell more high-margin inputs while helping customers achieve their goals of delivering better yields. Here's how TerrAvion can help ag retailers do just that.
Visual proof of input performance
When its time for growers to buy seed for the upcoming season, they are looking for the best performing product. The number one thing growers are looking at to determine what seed they want to invest in is yield data. In many ways, this makes sense; delivering a higher-yielding crop is the goal of all growers. But yield data doesn't tell the full story, and the entire story holds a lot of details on the factors that contributed to yield results and how those factors might come into play next season. The high-detail aspect of TerrAvion imagery, along with its frequent and timely deliveries, makes it an ideal tool for ag retailers who are working on getting more profitable and better-performing inputs into a grower's hands.
When analyzing crop performance with remote sensing data, high-quality data is required. In many cases, the signs of crop health variability that provide insights on input performance are very subtle. TerrAvion's 10 cm NDVI product is capable of detecting even the most subtle signs of variation in crop health. Lower quality imagery data, such as offered by most satellite providers, is not capable of detecting this information. Yield data while collecting multiple rows at once and prone to calibration errors is also very limited in the information it provides outside of the end yield result. In addition to high-resolution NDVI imagery, TerrAvion also offers color, thermal, infrared, and other imagery products. Each of these high-resolution products contributes to the narrative of how a crop performed throughout a season; information that can help retailers move more high-margin inputs, which yield data, satellite imagery, or even in-person observations can't provide.
Data at key events during the growing season
The value of high-quality data as a crop monitoring tool is contingent on how frequently new data is made available. Yield data is provided once, at the end of the season. As mentioned, results are important, but information on all the contributing factors is crucial for making seed and other input decisions for an upcoming season.
Drone data is another example of data that offers high-quality data but typically not frequency due to high cost. Drone imagery captured at any single point during the season will provide great crop health data for that exact moment, but provides limited information outside of that one point in time. Subscription aerial imagery offers a visual diary for a growing season. TerrAvion makes weekly deliveries as part of our standard services. Weekly crop health imagery can tell a grower or retailer how various inputs performed throughout the season.
One variety or hybrid may have performed better through a drought or flood, recovered from a storm, or resisted pest and disease pressure better than another crop. Thermal imagery, along with NDVI imagery, offers valuable information on how moisture contributed to yield results. Did different field conditions contribute to yield results? Applying these crop performance insights to a management plan for the following year can help retailers move more high-margin inputs while providing profitable seeding recommendations that will increase grower ROI.
More efficient and effective seeding maps
The notion that precision agriculture is all about saving money by spending less on inputs is misleading and outdated. The goal of precision agriculture is to increase yields while increasing efficiency, using technology and data to capitalize on every small margin available on every farm while also limiting wasteful practices. Variable-rate technology is a perfect example of this. Variable-rate planting is practiced to reduce seed costs in areas of low productivity and increase yields in areas of high productivity. Yes, one objective of variable rate seeding is to allocate fewer resources to parts of a field that won't deliver a positive ROI. Still, the real value of variable rate planting is realized by applying more seed to zones where there is more potential for increased yield. Most variable-rate programs will result in increased use of inputs and still delivering greater yields and a higher ROI over blanket rate applications. However, the success of any variable rate seeding program will depend entirely on knowing where the highest performing and lowest performing areas of your fields are.
TerrAvion data provides that information in great detail and at a high-value cost. In addition to being an integral part of the success of the planting program itself, high-resolution imagery will also validate the performance of recommendations made, helping retailers build grower trust. When retailers can prove to their growers that investing more in high-margin products will deliver them higher returns, more products will move out the door, helping everyone in agriculture from input producers to ag retail including the grower.
Historical data beyond yield data
If you're interested in using aerial imagery to boost inputs sales but are not a current customer, you might not have to start from scratch in building a record of historical imagery data. Chances are if you are operating in one of our primary service regions, we likely have historical data of your farms stored in our database. When TerrAvion pilots are in the air capturing imagery for our clients, our cameras are always firing. We store this raw imagery in our database and process it upon request. If you are interested in learning more about TerrAvion services and would like us to check our database for your imagery, please complete the form below.