Webinar On Smart Farming Tech In Africa: Key Takeaways
Learn the key takeaways from the webinar on precision agriculture improving livelihoods and increasing yields in Africa, hosted jointly by EOS Data Analytics and Agroxchange Technology.
So, you have received all that scouting data from the satellite. Now what? It’s time to make really good use of it. We are committed to making the user experience as easy as possible. That’s why you will find all of the data gathered in one place, in the form of a chart.
We offer two kinds of charts: standard and extended.
The cool thing about the standard chart is that it is:
You won’t have to meticulously switch from tab to tab in search of this chart. It is waiting for you, right there in the Fields tab. Select any field and the standard chart will load automatically in an analytics window below the map.
By default, as soon as you log into your account, you are in the Fields tab. At this point, the map takes up most of the space on the screen. Don’t panic! To the right of the screen there is a list of your fields (that is, if you have already added some fields to the list).
If your field is already in the list, click on it. That’s all that it takes to get to the standard chart.
On this chart, you will find several different types of data gathered over a period of time:
This last curve varies depending on the type of weather data that you can select in a separate menu on the left. Locate the Weather Data bar with the word “Temperature” and click the arrow to roll out the menu.
Okay, now let’s focus on the chart itself, to better understand how to work with it.
We’re talking NDVI, NDRE, MSAVI, ReCL, and NDMI here. To avoid clutter, we have designed the chart so it won’t display more than one vegetation index type at a time.
Above you can see the default version of the standard chart, with five annual NDVI curves (seen in light green, violet, yellow, pink, and dark green) displayed. In the legend, each of them looks like a pair of years separated by a forward slash. How do you know these five curves represent the NDVI index? Make sure to check the top left corner of the chart. A quick glance will tell you exactly which vegetation index curve it is.
You can click the downward arrow next to it and select any of the three other indices in the drop-down menu.
Switch from index to index in just one click, to increase the accuracy of crop monitoring.
You may notice that the scale to the left of the chart is the same for four vegetation indices (NDVI, NDRE, MSAVI, NDMI), and totally different for the ReCl curve. While the value of NDVI, NDRE, MSAVI, and NDMI ranges between -1 and 1, the ReCl value starts at 0 and has no upper limit. That’s because ReCl is measured differently from the other three. Since ReCl measures the chlorophyll content, which is directly proportional to its value. The more chlorophyll in the plant, the higher the ReCl index.
By default, there are always five vegetation index curves on the chart at a time, each representing one season. You can deactivate any, or all of them by clicking the legend icons above with years.
As you can see, it may look a little confusing. For your convenience, we have assigned a different color to every individual curve. This bird’s-eye view allows you to compare how your crops were doing each year. You can turn any curve on or off, trying different combinations.
For instance, on this particular chart, only two NDVI curves are activated and they are two years apart. Try any combinations you like to get a better understanding of your crops health over five years.
You can also use the calendar view on the left to set any range of dates that you want.
There are also vertical dashed rays indicating various growth stages of your crops, based on the international BBCH scale. You will see the growth stages both on standard and extended charts.
Note: Growth stages are currently available only for the following countries:
And only for certain crops:
However, to see the growth stages on the chart, you will need to tell the system two important bits of information first:
Locate the sidebar with the standard information about the selected field. It is on the right side of the screen. And find the little Crop rotation bar. Under the Sowing Date, click +Add.
In the example above, a crop’s name is selected by default, but as you can see, there are no growth stages displayed on the chart. Do not let the default settings trick you, do it yourself in 3 easy steps:
2. Set all the crop names and sowing dates you need by clicking on the little arrows and calendar icons.
3. Click “Save” and you are golden
You will always recognize the Growth stages on the chart by the distinct dark yellow color of their icons, dashed rays, and legends.
You can choose between four different weather data curve types, they are:
This weather data curve always appears on the chart by default, actually it’s not one curve but two:
Their color is always blue: lighter blue for the maximum air temperature and darker blue for the minimum. To the right of the chart is the temperature scale.
It is easy to see how the three curves correlate with each other on the chart. You can see how similar or different their shapes are at any given point; whether they both are going up or down at the same time or not. As for the height of the vegetation index curve, it only relates to the scale on the left.
To learn how much rain has poured over your crops for a given period of time, select the word “Precipitation” from the drop-down list. Though, instead of a curve, you will see a row of vertical bars.
On the right of the screen is the precipitation scale in millimeters (metric system).You can see in this example that in late August and early September there was a dry period, but sometime between the 1st and 10th of August, precipitation levels were rather high. In fact, there must have been a heavy downpour on the 4th of August, as is more evident when you zoom in closer.
You can always zoom in on the chart to get a more accurate picture of the precipitation values. Remember that the vegetation index curve is based off of the observations of a satellite which has a certain revisit cycle (returns to observe your field every 5 days or so). An extreme close-up can turn a continuous vegetation curve into a series of curves, it is absolutely normal and there is nothing to worry about.
Nevertheless, you can still zoom in to check precipitation for any given day, since we receive that data from a different source daily.
Sometimes bad things happen to your crops when the air temperature goes even slightly over a certain critical line. We have separated the heat stress from the cold stress, not to mix them up on the chart. Below you can see both versions of the chart.
Let’s make several observations here:
Whenever the air temperature curves cross the critical heat/cold stress boundaries, eerie red vertical bars appear that signal the possibility of bad times for your crop.
The critical temperature value is always displayed in a dark red color on the scale to the right of the chart.
To begin with, it is slightly more difficult to find these, but not so difficult. There are four of them and they all belong to the Historical Weather pane of the Weather tab. Here they are:
Each of these is to give you a deeper insight into the weather changes on your field over time.
Here, you can switch from field to field in the list on the right.
You can see the correlation between growth stages, accumulated precipitation levels, daily precipitation rates, daily temperatures, and the sum of active temperatures over a period of time, up to five years.
Note: Historical Weather is only available for Pro users.
Let’s take a better view at each of these four extended charts.
It is easy to see here how the precipitation has been steadily accumulating over a year, in blue. The blue legend above tells you over which year exactly, while the orange legend explains that the orange curve represents the average rate of precipitation accumulation over five years. Note that the orange curve is similar, yet slightly different than the blue accumulated precipitation mass.
To see the 5 Years Average curve, you need to click on the legend since it is off by default.
This chart may remind you of the precipitation row of vertical bars on the standard chart in the Fields tab, with one important difference; along with the usual blue vertical bars for this year, there are also the orange ones to tell you about the average daily precipitation rate over the last five years. In other words, you can see, for example, how much more, or less rain has fallen on a particular day, compared to the 5 year average value.
Similarly to the daily precipitation chart, two sets of data are compared:
The green mass on this chart illustrates the rate of the accumulation of daily temperatures over the past year (here, 2019/2020). The orange curve, on the other hand, allows you to compare the annual rate with the 5-year average one.
Note: you can manually set the minimum temperature value in the drop-down menu on the top left. You can choose between three available minimum temperatures: 0, 5, and 10 degrees Celsius or 32, 41, 50 degrees Fahrenheit. If the minimum temperature value is 0C / 32F, all of the active temperatures higher than that will sum up on the chart. However, if you set the 10C / 50F minimum, the 0-10C / 32-50F temperatures will not be represented on the chart (taken into account).
One more tip: you may choose between two modes of view, as follows:
If you don’t see the orange curve and the legend that says “5 Years Average”, you probably have it set to “None.”
On each of these four charts you will see the growth stages, to not lose the sight of your crops. Just remember that growth stages can be displayed only in certain countries and for certain crops, according to the table below. And you need to manually enter the type of crop, as well as its sowing date first.
|Spring barley||Spring barley||Spring barley||Spring barley|
|Winter rapeseed||Winter rapeseed||Winter rapeseed||Winter rapeseed|
|Winter wheat||Winter wheat||Winter wheat||Winter wheat|
Remember that all of these technical weather data charts serve only one purpose, to give you the tools for keeping your crops in good health.
As you can see, we gather large quantities of data about your crops over long periods of time (i.e. temperatures, weather, cold/heat stresses, and precipitation rates). So we’ve put all of that data on our dashboard as charts, to minimize your time and effort in interpreting it. The standard chart contains most of the information you need, displayed on a single screen. With the extended charts found in the Weather analytics tab, you are all set and ready to monitor your fields with precision.