On-Farm Application of Operational Integrated Satellite Services
Migdall, Silke1; Bach, Heike1; Spannraft, Katharina1; Hank, Tobias2; Mauser, Wolfram2; Angermair, Wolfgang3; Burgstaller, Stefan3; Tüller, Georg3
1VISTA GmbH, GERMANY; 2Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich, GERMANY; 3PC Agrar GmbH, GERMANY

Earth Observation data are globally available and thus provide a unique data source which is independent from local in-situ data. There have been several research projects in this area, and also different services offered directly to farmers, with mixed results. Oftentimes the transition from research to practical application fails. This has multiple reasons, but often comes down to the farmer not knowing how to incorporate the results into his management system (both a technical and a content issue).
TalkingFields as an integrated effort that aims at providing farmers with affordable and low time- consuming, end-to-end precision farming services to increase production efficiency, has tried to bridge this gap and deliver results that can easily be incorporated into the farmer’s Farm Management Information System.
In the last three years the project TalkingFields has been in its demonstration phase, co-funded by ESA’s ARTES 20 Integrated Applications Promotion (IAP) Programme. During this time, several Precision Farming applications were developed and delivered to demo users in the field. These include products that capture the site-characteristics of each location in the fields (TF Base Map, TF Zone Map) as well as products that show the current status of crop development (TF Biomass Map, TF Yield Map and TF Yield Forecast).
An important characteristic of all of these services is that they are not bound to one specific Earth Observation source. Instead, a multi-mission concept is applied, that allows the use of all optical satellite sensors with a high spatial resolution (ca. 20m). Already, the integration of Landsat-8 data as well as Sentinel-2 data is being prepared, so that also these data sources can be used as soon as they become available. For especially the up-to-date services on biomass and yield estimation to become fully operational, the availability of these free EO data is an important factor, as commercial data make the service too expensive for individual farmers to benefit from it.
After three years of demonstration and pre-operational services, it is now possible to show the results of the service in terms of product delivery and technical validation of the products. Examples will be given for improved site characterization by analyzing multi-year satellite observations to quantify the spatial distribution of yield potential within a field. Data assimilation of EO data in the crop growth model PROMET allows daily derivation of biomass and the estimation of grain yield. Validation of this will be given for several vegetation periods and farms underlining the reliability of the integrated service. Besides these examples also the practical application of the results done by the farmers will be addressed. Different examples for these applications of the EO data services shall be given in the presentation.
Especially this fact, that the farmers used the provided data for management decisions, shows that the specific goal of the TalkingFields initiative to overcome the hurdles of adoption by the users has been reached via its integrative approach that covers the whole service chain from the satellites to the tractor terminal.