New satellite mapping service unveiled by Origin

A new digital agronomy and satellite mapping brand called Rhiza has been launched by Irish agricultural services firm Origin Enterprises.

Launched last week at the European Space Agency headquarters, in Harwell, England, Origin unveiled Rhiza as its driver for satellite data for farmers and agronomists.

“Digital agronomy is far broader and more affordable than the precision farming systems it has, until now, mainly been associated with,” according to Origin head of digital, Simon Beck.

In its most basic format, the system logs and automatically transfers geo-referenced field-walking observations to farm records, which farmers can do using a phone or tablet with GPS and the ‘Contour’ app, Beck said.

“You and your advisor use this to record and share information and pictures on areas of interest or concern so you can target management action throughout the season.

“You can then relate these records to field performance and, if you have them, yield maps to plan future improvements.”

Optical satellite imagery can be added for a more detailed service, to provide: a “health report” of every part of fields; radar-derived crop growth monitoring and yield predictions; weather-based local pest and disease modelling; and soil mapping and variable rate management tools.

The firm has enlisted satellite company Planet for optical imaging, offering a revisit time of 1.5 days, up from the standard seven-day satellite revisit period.

The EU’s Copernicus Sentinel satellites is also used for all-weather synthetic aperture radar (SAR) monitoring, utilised to draw up crop growth models.

Rhiza aims to offer digital services to arable and livestock farmers in the UK market as well as central and eastern Europe, and farmers in Africa.