Summer weeds in Satamap: new dimension for monitoring fallows

So you may think satellite imagery is only good for the growing season. It’s time to rethink – especially with the new Sentinel 2A imagery coming soon.

The following satellite image was captured south west of Moree on 31-01-2016 from ESA’s Sentinel 2A satellite. The photos surrounding it are ground truth of data shown on the map. These photos were taken on the 5th of Feb – 5 days later.

The sub-tropical farming region in NSW & QLD (areas that receive summer and winter rainfall) are currently dealing with glyphosate resistance issues in some summer grasses particularly awnless barnyard grass. The Satamap app allows agronomists and farmers to easily navigate (using iPad GPS) to the areas in fallow paddocks that show up as vegetation and identify what is growing there. This is particularly valuable in no-till systems where tall stubble can hide grass.

Note that Satamap is not a replacement for on the ground monitoring, just a tool to help out. The imagery will only ‘see’ clusters of weeds as it is averaging reflectance over a 10 x 10m square. There have been some surprised (me included!) at the extent of vegetation showing in seemingly ‘clean’ fallows.

The new Sentinel 2A imagery is proving to be an ideal tool for finding weeds in summer fallows at Moree

The new Sentinel 2A imagery is proving to be an ideal tool for finding weeds in summer fallows at Moree

Satamap is designed to monitor large areas with no local information (e.g. paddock boundaries, field names etc). It is almost as simple as using Google Maps except our imagery is current and has the Satamap Vegetation Index applied (similar to NDVI). We also have a true natural colour image available for every date.

A new look and more accurate roads and man made features layer coming soon!

Satamap founder and grain farmer from Moree, NSW, Australia.

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