Remote sensing for oilseed rape fertilisation – How EarthDaily Agro supports nitrogen management.

Satellite imagery technology is a component of precision agriculture that accompanies agricultural practices. During this winter period in Western Europe, satellite images are being used on winter oilseed rape fields to adapt nitrogen fertilisation and better distribute it into the field, thanks to variability maps.

Biomass is an indicator of the amount of nitrogen absorbed by the crop. The larger is the winter oilseed rape, the more nitrogen it stores during its development, so the amount of nitrogen fertiliser to be applied at the end of winter will be reduced (source Terres Inovia, in French). It is therefore important to be able to calculate the biomass of winter oilseed rape to provide farmers with reliable advice on nitrogen inputs. Satellite imagery provides a good view of this biomass.

By calculating the difference in winter oilseed rape biomass between two dates at the beginning and end of winter, our customers can provide farmers with advice on how to manage nitrogen inputs. Once in possession of the nitrogen management advice, the farmer can set up his splitting strategy. He uses the modulation map received to automatically apply the right dose in the right place at the intra-plot level if his spreading equipment allows it. This fertilisation advice provides a double benefit: better assimilation of nitrogen by the crop, which limits residues in the environment, and a better yield and/or lower input costs.

For this EarthDaily Agro provides biophysical indicators to estimate the LAI (leaf area index) and biomass of the oilseed rape at any point in the field. Those indicators are available through our APIs (to feed our clients’ tools) or the Geosys application.

For this season, 90% of winter oilseed rape plots have at least one image in France between November 1st and December 15th 2022. The good weather during this period allows us to reach 95% in Sweden.

Coverage by date for customers in France

Coverage by date for customers in Western Europe

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