Use of unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) as a platform for monitoring agricultural production: a case study for forage corn.
The growth of agricultural productivity, without major impact on the environment, is a true revolution in the field, using data, technology and territorial intelligence as high-value assets. Through aerial survey, measurement and application platforms, called UAV (acronym for Unmanned Aerial Vehicle) or drone, it is possible to carry out monitoring, evaluation and decision-making activities in order to improve crop management and of herds on rural properties of any scale of production. Traditionally, the vegetation indexes are used to map the vegetative condition, mainly, on a large scale with the use of satellite images. However, With the advent of UAV platforms with embedded sensors that capture data in the bands or bands of the visible and near infrared spectrum, several indices are applied in studies involving the identification of vegetation stresses in more precise spatial scales. In tests performed on corn crops, it was found that on average, the VARI and GLI vegetation indices indicated productivity losses of 5.58 and 7.36%, respectively. In the border region to the north of the area, the index was not satisfactory in discriminating losses due to the high infestation by invasive plants. Thus, a lower percentage of losses was estimated by the average of the vegetation indices, around 6.47% or 0.35 ha. It was observed that the VARI and GLI indices were similar in class discrimination at intervals that indicate from the exposure of the soil to the level of vigor of the vegetation. The results of the vegetation indices, in the visible spectrum range, prove the applicability of the method in the extraction of data and information related to the development and growth aspects of the crops.