Measure crop growth from the sky

Agworld integrates PCT Satamaps vegetative index

HARVESTING DATA: Satamap founder and Moree grain grower, Ben Boughton believes satellite imagery offers great value for on-farm decision making.

HARVESTING DATA: Satamap founder and Moree grain grower, Ben Boughton believes satellite imagery offers great value for on-farm decision making.


Agworld has integrated PCT Satamaps vegetative index into its farm management software


AGWORLD have announced the integration of the Satamap vegetative index (SVI) into its farm management platform. 

Based on the more common normalised vegetative index (NDVI) which measures biomass, the SVI allows growers to use satellite imagery to measure crop growth and predict yield.

Founded by Moree grain grower and Nuffield scholar, Ben Boughton, Satamaps was purchased by Narrabri based PCT Agcloud earlier this year. 

Agworld, general manager, Simon Foley said while AgWorld and PCT had been working together for a number of years in the US market, the purchase of Satamaps encouraged them to extend the relationship in Australia. 

“This is the first integration of PCT solutions in the Agworld platform for Australia and I couldn’t be more excited. 

“The addition of an SVI layer to Agworld will be very beneficial on a daily basis for enhanced ground truthing conversations for both agronomists and growers.”


Mr Foley said the digital industries trend toward partnerships between companies delivered significant benefit to growers. 

“Many growers would say they want one solution that does all things and deals with their paddock, financial, machinery and weather information. 

“The reality is, no one solution has the depth and width of value and usability to meet all those needs. 

“So an ecosytem of connected solutions is starting to emerge, and that is what we see ourselves being a significant player in.”

Mr Foley said Agworld had formed number of beneficial partnerships over the years, including with machinery companies such as John Deere, soil testing laboratories and accounting software. 

“Its a much smarter way to look at it,” he said. 

“Technologies that have been developed by farmers, such as Ben Boughton, as someone very close to the value of the technology in the field, solve a problem. 

“This integration has allowed that technology to be put in the hands of many more people.”

Satellite technology

Ben Boughton said the SVI is derived from data collected by the two Sentinel-2 satellites that orbit the earth over 14 times a day capturing imagery of the same location every 5 or 6 days.

“SVI borrows the basic concept of NDVI but takes it to the next level by using other bands to help mitigate the effect of soil colour and reduce saturation in high biomass situations,” he said. 

“It incorporates a unique fixed colour scale so as the crop changes through the season it will progress through the colour chart and then at senescence begin to move back down the color chart to help make harvest decisions.

“This is all the while being flexible enough to show in field variability and compare directly against other fields to help with agronomic management.”

PCT Agcloud, managing director, Andrew Smart said the purchase of Satamap Pty Ltd in May 2018, allowed the company to hire Ben Boughton to join the PCT Agcloud team.

“By working with Agworld, we can make this technology available to an even greater group of growers, agronomists and other industry stakeholders,” he said.

“The use of SVI as opposed to NDVI allows us to show agronomists and growers a clearer representation of biomass, particularly when soil colour and sensor saturation is impacting the data we are using to make critical and insightful decisions on crops in a timely manner.

“The Satamap data is used for many in-crop decisions, evaluations and applications and now making it more easily visible to the Agworld customer base is very exciting.”

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