Max Dafforn, Lucy Bane
The IPF Toolbox, the UK’s first web-based precision farming system, now has over 130,000 hectares subscribed to the service. One of the key features of the Toolbox is its integration of high-resolution, multispectral satellite imagery. This is processed as a vegetation index and allows farmers to monitor the progress of their growing crops. The satellite data can be viewed on a tablet device, which makes it possible to identify areas of interest while out in the field. This project aims to develop this one step further: The new seeCrop app will enable farmers to pinpoint areas of crop damage and record their location using the tablet’s GNSS receiver. After the type of damage is selected (pest, weed, or disease), a list of the most likely options will appear depending on the crop type and time of year. These agronomic observations will synchronise with the cloud-based IPF Toolbox, thereby allowing targeted applications of crop protection chemicals. This will save the farmer time and money and reduce the negative environmental impact of unnecessary chemical applications. Aggregated observation data from app users also has huge potential to facilitate pest and disease forecasting in the UK and abroad.