Unit 16, Mold Business Park, Flintshire, CH7 1XP

NDVI for Agriculture

NDVI stands for Normalised Difference Vegitation Index. NDVI is a common measure in remote sensing for agriculture — capturing how much more near infrared light is reflected compared to visible red. It helps differentiate bare soil from grass or forest, detect plants under stress, and differentiate between crops and crop stages.  The science behind it relies upon the biology and physics of plants, specifically the amount of Near Infra-Red light (NIR) captured and subjected to analysis.  Organic material reflects a lot of NIR in comparison to non organic material.  Advanced mathematical software can analyise images and detect minor changes in the reflection of NIR, allowing us to see stages in plant health.  

So, how can this help within agriculture?  Rpas can be deployed at a moments notice - extremely useful after weather events, allowing farmers to quickly prioritise and rescue damaged crops.  Rpas can operate at much lower altitudes, meaning far more detail is captured coupled with the absense of clouds / atmospheric pollutants distorting NIR capture.  NDVI can also help farmers to predict crop yeilds.

If its that beneficial, why isnt it commonplace?  Well, NDVI's have been in use for many years, however it has been historically extremely costly and affected by many variables.  In the last 12 months, advances in technology specifically within the Rpas (drone) industry have made NDVI's cheaper, much faster to obtain and more reliable.  Historically NDVI's relied upon satellite imagary or light aircraft.  Both options were costly and took weeks to arrange and deliver the data - even then cloud cover could effect the results.