High resolution soil moisture data can monitor small sized agriculture fields

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Originally posted 2019-01-05 11:54:43.

The Agricultural land of Goa is diminishing at a fast rate due to urbanization and climate change. Agriculture sector of the state contributes only 15-16 percent of the state’s income although one-fourth of the population is dependent on agriculture. As most of the state practices rain-fed agriculture, knowledge about precipitation, soil moisture and other agrohydrological parameters would benefit farmers to implement precision irrigation and thus can optimize the usage of water. As the landholdings are below 2 hectares and the sizes of the fields are small, high-resolution data is required to monitor these factors field-wise.

The average soil moisture map for the month of October shows that the state is having moderate soil moisture which may be an indicator of good yield this harvesting season. The map has been prepared by Satyukt Analytics Pvt Ltd as an attempt to make hydrologic data understandable to the public. The soil moisture is prepared by merging data from multiple satellites using the vikleda algorithm.

Some of the applications where soil moisture is useful are:

  • Optimal irrigation in farms
  • Identify areas being over-irrigated
  • Improved flood risk estimation
  • Monitor agricultural drought in near real-time
  • Improved weather forecast
  • Analyze the impact of an irrigation project
  • Identify the irrigated area by an irrigation source
  • Automatic billing of farm based on the actual irrigation
  • Estimation of actual evapotranspiration taking place
  • Estimation of area getting degraded

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About the author: Catherin Sebastian

The author is a research enthusiast, she has completed her M.Tech. in Remote Sensing and GIS, from NIT Warangal. Her expertise includes the application of microwave satellite remote sensing for providing the solutions in Water Resources and Agriculture.

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