A Deep Dive Into Mapping Fields with High Speed Cameras

Have a field brimming with thousands of weeds or cover crops and no idea what all is out there? 

Søren Skovsen is working on a camera system for you. 

Skovsen is a post-doctoral researcher from Aarhus University in Denmark working with GROW and Precision Sustainable Agriculture (PSA) on their joint project to provide open-access, affordable mapping tools for farmers and the public. 

This video takes a deep dive into how Skovsen uses a high-speed, tractor-mounted camera that zooms across a field, snapping high-resolution, color images of all the plants below it. Skovsen and his team are then training artificial intelligence (AI) models to identify the species – a mix of grasses, brassicas, clovers or weeds. After collecting samples of biomass and feeding that data into the model, the team is building detailed field-wide maps of plant species and biomass. 

The high-speed camera system could someday help farmers do things like map their weeds – or simply detect individual ones in real-time – for precision herbicide applications, or even tailor fertilizer applications based on the legume cover in a field, Skovsen says. 

Watch him explain the project here: 

See more on GROW and PSA research on digital mapping here: https://growiwm.org/tag/field-mapping/.

Video by Claudio Rubione, GROW; text by Emily Unglesbee, GROW