How can biomass maps help me monitor my fields? How does it work?

Atfarm allows you to remotely check the biomass status of your fields for free with regularly updated satellite imagery and various biomass maps, so you can


  • Make informed decisions about your nitrogen fertilization based on reliable and comprehensive growth information
  • Identify areas of high growth potential
  • Identify potential problem areas on time before yields are affected
  • Recognize crop variability due to weather
  • Plan next field visits and prioritize areas that need a closer look
  • Analyse progress and evaluate any new practices or products you are trialing
  • Monitor the effectiveness of nitrogen applications and variable rate fertilization



How does it work?



1) Add your field


Access the crop monitoring solution via both the Atfarm web app on your desktop browser and the Atfarm mobile app on your mobile device.


After adding a field to your farm, you'll see a satellite image of the field with a biomass layer on it.





2) Select a satellite image


Atfarm uses data from the Sentinel-2 A and B satellites of the European Space Agency's Copernicus program to calculate a vegetation index and produce a biomass map. Sentinel-2 imagery captures the red edge of light, making it ideal for detecting changes in vegetation long before the human eye would notice any anomalies.


The Sentinel-2 satellites are in the same orbit and provide multi-spectral Earth observation data as a continuation of the Landsat and SPOT programs. Images are acquired at spatial resolutions of 32.8 ft or 65.6 ft per pixel in 10 spectral channels in the wavelength range from 443 to 2190 nm. In addition, 3 narrow-band spectral channels with a spatial resolution of 196.9 ft are available for the measurement of atmospheric properties.


The satellite images are available in Central Europe approximately every 3 to 5 days (revisiting time). After image acquisition, the raw data are processed and then made available to Atfarm. This takes about 24 hours.


You can access up to 2 years of satellite imagery in the timeline below the map and see how your field has developed. Cloudy satellite images are hidden in the timeline by default, as the biomass layers can't be applied to them and therefore Variable N-Rate Application (VRA) Maps can't be created with such images. However, you can still view cloudy satellite images and check if they're indeed cloudy.





3) Select field view and biomass map


You can select different satellite maps and biomass maps by clicking on the map layer tile in the bottom right corner of the field map.


You can choose from 2 types of satellite map to view your field: base map and field view. The base map is a high resolution but outdated earth map. It's used to identify field boundaries when you add your fields to Atfarm. In the field view you can find the low resolution but up-to-date satellite images and check the condition of the field.


You can choose from 3 types of biomass maps: NDVI (Normalized Difference Vegetation Index) map, optimized (Yara N-Sensor) map, N-uptake map. Each biomass map applies a specific vegetation index to a cloud-free satellite image to measure crop health and growth. The result is a biomass map that shows variability in the field, which can be used to plan your fertilizer applications and create Variable N-Rate Application (VRA) Maps.


The Yara N-Sensor vegetation index is what makes Atfarm's biomass maps special. Read here how this sets us apart from other tools.





4) Compare biomass


Compare your field's biomass between 2 selected dates using the biomass comparison tool to benchmark crop development, identify anomalies and discuss possible action.





5) Create Variable N-Rate Application (VRA) Maps


Create Variable N-Rate Application (VRA) Maps using Atfarm's biomass maps and apply nitrogen precisely to your fields to save materials and costs.

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