From Pest Detection to Irrigation Control: Problem Solving with Field Health Imagery

Read Time: 3 minutes
September 29, 2023
Andrew Carpenter
Climate Enablement Manager at Bayer

It was a balmy summer day in mid-August when I spotted it. I was going through my morning routine, reviewing field health imagery for my customers and for anything that appeared out of the ordinary. As I was scrolling through my field health imagery emails from FieldView™, I noticed one field that displayed as a lighter green. FieldView makes it easy to spot inconsistencies in the field; it’s just a matter of telling the difference between dark green and light green. I looked at images from recent weeks, and that field had been deteriorating slowly over the course of a few days, and had turned lighter and lighter. I decided to investigate.

A Small but Deadly Culprit

I hopped in my truck and headed to the area in question. I walked into the field, pulled up a leaf, and there they were, crawling all over the crop. Spider mites had moved in. Since spider mites can take over a field within a matter of days if they’re not caught early enough, we decided to quickly take action. Spotting the issue early allowed us to spray the next day and get the mites under control, and the grower was able to continue with his season as normal.

Your Partner in Irrigation Monitoring

The benefits of field health imagery aren’t limited to pest control. I’ve experienced a number of cases where it has allowed me to identify a problem early and get it under control. About two years ago, we were experiencing a pretty dry season, and a field health imagery report showed one grower’s field that looked like a pie with one slice removed. Further inspection revealed a clogged nozzle in the irrigation system, and one section of the field wasn’t getting the appropriate amount of water. Had we not spotted the issue on FieldView, the dryness of the season could have led to much more significant problems.

A Simpler Way to Scout

Field health imagery can also be a great collaborative tool when it comes to scouting. Data sharing with a trusted advisor can make a huge difference for your season. In both of the cases I mentioned, I was able to see those red flag areas and assess the situation without bothering the grower. This kind of collaboration is just another way to save time and can be a significant asset to your operation.

For Best Results, Review Regularly

Get notified when you have new imagery that’s ready to review.

When it comes to monitoring field health imagery, it’s important to stay consistent. Reading the field health imagery summary emails can have a real impact on your operation. It’s a good idea to review images regularly to keep an eye on any minor changes that could indicate a bigger issue. Placing pins and adding notes is a great way to keep track of and have easier access to areas that have experienced issues in the past, or new problem areas as they form.

When I first started in this business, it was much harder to pinpoint exactly where issues were arising. Without field health imagery, it was almost a guessing game, and growers would have to physically take me out the field and show me where the problem areas were. Now, they can just drop a scouting pin on FieldView, text me the exact location, and I can investigate without having to bother them. When time is money, efficiency like this is key. Happy harvesting!

About the Author

Andrew Carpenter is a Climate Enablement Manager at Bayer. He has spent 7 years in the Ag Industry with Bayer, working as a Channel Seedsman and Climate Activation Specialist prior to his current role. He currently works with Seed and Crop Protection teams in Western Nebraska, Western Kansas and Colorado assisting Climate FieldView dealers and customers with day-to-day operations and NBM support.