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Clouds or not, satellites always keep an eye on plants through Dutch innovation

As of today, farmers from all over the world can monitor their crops via satellites, even when it is cloudy. The Dutch company VanderSat has developed a technology that allows, for example, dehydrated plants to be detected under all weather conditions.

“The agricultural lands in the Netherlands are not very large and the farmer knows very well what is happening on his land. But in other parts of the world, for example North and Latin America, they often have gigantic pieces of land. And then it is crucial that they know. what’s going on, “says director Thijs van Leeuwen. “This allows them to make targeted use of scarce raw materials such as water, fertilizers and pesticides.”

He points out that the climate is becoming increasingly extreme and erratic. “In many places it is getting drier, but in some places it is much wetter. Furthermore, the world population is increasing and with it the pressure on agriculture. We need to use it more economically and efficiently.”

Microwaves

Until now, farmers could monitor their crops via satellites by seeing how green the plants are. That only works if clouds do not obstruct the view. The Dutch innovation also uses the microwaves that the satellites receive from the plants and the soil.

“For example, we look every day at the water content in plants and soil and see very accurately what changes there. As a result, farmers know, for example, that certain parts are developing less. This allows them to take more targeted action and optimize their food production,” says Van Leeuwen in the newspaper. NOS Radio 1 News.

For the analysis of the crops, VanderSat uses satellite data that the European space agency ESA makes available free of charge. Farmers do have to pay for the service, says the director. “But if they all have to install sensors on their agriculture, it is often much more expensive.”

He expects the technology to be accessible and affordable in poorer parts of the world. “Anyone with a mobile phone can use our service.”

No loose plants

According to the company, the analyzes are very accurate. But farmers cannot see whether every single plant is still growing well, says Van Leeuwen. “It comes in boxes of 10 by 10 meters on which we can give a value. Usually the farmer then knows enough to make good decisions. Sometimes they need other techniques to work out everything in detail.”

The technology has been tested in areas in Europe, North and Latin America. From today it will be on the market for farmers worldwide, but insurance companies and water boards could also make use of it.

Clouds or not, satellites always keep an eye on plants through Dutch innovation
Source link Clouds or not, satellites always keep an eye on plants through Dutch innovation

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