This season we are linking with regional agronomists and farmers in Pukekohe/Pukekawa, Hawke’s Bay and Canterbury to further test the Management Action Zone tools.
One of the Pukekawa crops is most advanced and our mapping there starts very soon. Our aim is to map crops at 3 leaf stage, use that to identify canopy zones and take photos in each zone for detailed analysis.
The ground area calculated from the photos is added to plant population counts and run through a crop development model on SmartFarm.co.nz to predict final yield in each zone. The model also identifies if population of plant growth rate are causing lower than expected development, and therefore yield.
This field is almost ready for the first mapping exercise. We are somewhat nervous because the weeds can cause errors: green is green! Sometimes we can filter the weeds out of the images, but if there is very little difference between weed and onion, it is not yet possible.
The MicroFarm crop has started to emerge in recent days. We are keeping an eye on this to see what impact emergence has later.