Cloudy or not — BASF announces satellite biomass imagery unimpeded by cloud cover

BASF Digital Farming says it will be the first to offer the agriculture industry scalable, daily biomass satellite imagery, unimpeded by cloud cover through a partnership with VanderSat.

The partnership will utilize VanderSat’s Cloud-free Biomass product and BASF’s xarvio Field Manager solution. The technology is expected to be available in North America by the end of March this year.

“Giving farmers quicker access to reliable, quality biomass images provides greater oversight and helps to reduce risk by ensuring any required action can be taken almost immediately,” says Jeff Spencer, xarvio Global Technology & Data lead, BASF Digital Farming. “We are confident Cloud-free Biomass will be well-received by xarvio Field Manager customers and the agricultural industry”

Biomass imagery until now  could be significantly obstructed by cloud cover. Unlike normalized difference vegetation indices (NDVI) that only measure spectral greenness, the company says Cloud-free Biomass can also measure biophysical parameters and water content in vegetation.

Three different satellite products are integrated together: Cloud-free Biomass using VanderSat’s retrieval method for passive microwave technology, active microwave from the European Space Agency’s (ESA) Sentinel-1 satellite, and optical images from ESA’s Sentinel-2 satellite.

“As a launching partner, xarvio has given VanderSat the opportunity to develop a state-of-the-art product that perfectly matches farmers’ needs. The launch of the Cloud-free Biomass product is a major step forward for VanderSat on the way to a fully-fledged proposition for the agricultural market. It is now possible to monitor crop conditions continuously through a globally available operational service,” says Arjen Bakker, director of agri, food and commodities at VanderSat.

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