Converting a phone image into a predicted yield is an involved process. It relies on relationships between
- the image and canopy size
- the canopy size and yield
- population and canopy
- population and yield
Obviously the size of canopy varies (increases) as the crop develops so that has to be taken into account. For our project we have considered the population and canopy cover at 3 leaf, 5 leaf and bulbing.
A web-calculator was developed to compare development and predicted populations in different paddock zones – the Management Action Zones or MAZs.
For our project we identified management zones with support from farmers – seeking an area of high potential yield and one where yield was expected to be low. In each, Plant and Food established 15 plots that we followed through the season, capturing images, converting to 5 Ground Cover and processing into anticipated yields.
At the MicroFarm we set up 6 zones. Examples from the data input and report screens are shown in the web-calculator screen shots below.