I received an interesting release from the Satellite Imaging Corporation, a company that provides satellite imagery and remote sensing services to agriculture. It came replete with a lot of complicated acronyms and head-spinning technical information, but the overall theme of the release was relevant: high resolution satellite imagery is becoming more accurate and reliable, thanks to an influx of high resolution satellite sensors from systems like IKONOS, QuickBird, and the soon to be introduced GeoEye-1.
In the big picture, satellite images are helping to show variations in organic matter and drainage patterns, which make it possible to track agricultural resources such as field fertility and water usage. This is especially important in developing countries like China, where demand changes have a significant impact on markets around the world.
For producers, improved satellite image data could meet the promise of providing real time analysis for making decisions on inputs and management options on the current crop, especially in conjunction with other georeferenced field data.
Since I started covering the high-tech aspects of agriculture, satellite imagery providers have struggled to meet the promise for improving agriculture management due to limitations of the technology. Remote sensing has fared better, through airplane and on the go sensor technology. Hopefully, we’ll continue to see more improvements that make remote imagery a more viable and valuable tool in the precision agriculture toolbox for everyone in ag.
I invite satellite imagery providers to provide additional information and commentary below.