• TerrAvion TerrAvion
  • Aug 18
  • 4 min read

Using Infrared vs Vigor imagery data

With every image capture for a field, TerrAvion provides a lot of different imagery data that provide different insights, value, use, and uniqueness. All these imagery layers are an incredibly strong tool to help you provide insight in fields, whether you are a grower, agronomist, research organization, or an input provider. TerrAvion delivers all this data because comparing and combining the information that each image layer provides, generates excellent insight, from your desk, about what is going on in a field. Besides the two Color and two Thermal layers, each delivered data point also has a very high-resolution Infrared band and two Vigor (or NDVI) bands.

Vigor (NDVI) and Infrared imagery offer immense value. Both types of imagery provide agronomic insights and opportunities to increase their profits and limit loss. High-resolution NDVI imagery easily shows areas where crops are thriving and where they are suffering while the Infrared shows you the most detailed and up-to-date information. Infrared can provide a further explanation of crop variability identified in NDVI imagery. This information can help make more profitable input and other informed management decisions.

All about Infrared image data

TerrAvion Infrared has a very high resolution per pixel. In the USA, it is less than 10 cm per pixel, so in most cases, each pixel represents an individual plant. The Infrared band is a colored representation of the data that the Near-Infrared (NIR) camera captures. A healthy plant with lots of chlorophyll reflects more near-infrared light than an unhealthy plant with less chlorophyll. It is the most accurate and timely measure of plant health and provides a great deal of detail about the plant’s health. Unfortunately, an Infrared image is not easy to grasp at first glance as it shows mostly different grades of red, although some other colors can be visible. It takes time to learn how to read the Infrared band properly, but it is an excellent source of information to use alongside the other image bands TerrAvion provides.

Using Infrared vs Vigor data-1
TerrAvion very high-resolution Dynamic Vigor with highlighted a detail near the center of the pivot

All about Vigor image data

The TerrAvion Vigor bands provide NDVI information. The Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) is used for an indirect quantitative measure of vegetation health, covered area, and life cycle stages for crops. Vigor bands are a calculated representation of various data from the NIR and Red light, creating a measure for greenness. The value for the index of greenness ranges from 0-1, where 0 represents minimal or no greenness, and 1 represents maximum greenness or vigor. Depending on the region and crop, the maximum vigor value varies. In the midwest, for example, anything with an NDVI value over 0.5 is good, and the highest calculated value is usually around 0.60-0.70.

A healthy plant absorbs a lot of red light, which makes it look green to the human eye. However, as the Vigor data emphasizes the color green more than the Infrared data does, the actual plant health might already be deteriorating while it still will be showing green and as high vigor in the NDVI imagery.

DYn vigor with highlight gardencity 20200721 (1)
TerrAvion very high-resolution Dynamic Vigor with highlighted a detail near the center of the pivot

Infrared versus Vigor

In the Infrared imagery, you can see immediately if a plant is stressed, while in the NDVI layer, it can take up to two weeks. A bushy plant will have more chlorophyll and reflect more green light, so appear more healthy but might not necessarily be compared to it smaller, healthy neighbor.read all about TerrAvion product information

The main difference between Infrared and Vigor is that NIR allows you to see the plant’s image at row-level and how it's responding to light at that moment. The NDVI only shows you how green the plant is. As an example, imagine you mowed down hay or the lawn. The just cut grass is still green. However, it is not growing or taking up nutrients anymore. The Infrared will show you the plant isn't alive anymore, while NDVI will show you the grass is green.

The advantage of looking at the Infrared, it can help you detect issues in plant growth differences, soil/nutrient issues, or other problems arising before they are visible scouting. It enables a proactive approach to managing fields.

The advantage of Vigor data is that it is easy to read and understand, shows areas of concern, and allows for quantification.

TerrAvion Vigor data can be seen in various colormaps allowing for great detail to be seen in both the Standard and Dynamic Vigor
TerrAvion Vigor data can be seen in various colormaps allowing for great detail to be seen in both the Standard and Dynamic Vigor

Besides Infrared and Vigor data TerrAvion offers multiple other imagery bands to optimize field management. Interested to learn how TerrAvion imagery can help your business maximize its ROI? Complete the form below, and we will be in touch.


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