“Digital agronomist” created at the SSU
Researchers at the Samara State University (SSU) have developed a “digital agronomist”, a software package that can, by analyzing various factors, predict crop yields and help agricultural producers achieve high rates.
“This software package is now actively developing in the field of agriculture. Thanks to it, agronomists, for example, have a complete up-to-date picture of agricultural crops, which allows to increase the accuracy and efficiency of resource utilization”, said Andrei Chernov, one of the developers of the system, associate professor at the Department of Geoinformatics and Information Security. “Now we have added an option of crop yield forecasting to the system and are getting to crop rotation planning. This means that taking into account many factors the system will help agricultural producers to make deliberate decisions in their activities. For example, what in what order, in what terms and in what amounts is to be sowed, when and which fertilizers are to be applied in order to get one or another result.”
The software package does rational planning of the structure of sown areas, forecasts yields at various stages, from sowing to harvesting, as well as monitors and analyzes data on harvested crops, during the harvesting campaign and upon its completion. The area of simultaneously analyzed crops is between 100 and 1 million hectares.
To generate a yield forecast for a given field, the package assesses the dynamic state of crops by images from space, analyzes the temperature, humidity, and precipitation, takes into account the types and quality of crops in this field in previous years, the current state of the soil and even the landscape.
“From space, you can watch the development of crops, their NDVI index (Normalized Difference Vegetation Index, an indicator assessing whether or not the target being observed contains live green vegetation). Along with meteorological data, the biological potential of seeds, the variety of plants, soil quality and many other factors are taken into account”, said Andrey Chernov.