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Satnews Daily
December 5th, 2016

Farmstar For French Farmers Gets Down And Dirty... Enhances Crop Production

Ile de Ré, France © CNES 2005 - Distribution Airbus Defence and Space / Spot Image

French farmers don't have to put on their overalls and pull up their Wellingtons to learn about their farming plots.

This new and improved service covers some arial areas as small as one hectare. Farmstar provides information that can enhance farmers' crop production to such a finite science that calculates the nitrogen input at the 1 cm ear stage so that the input can be broken down and adjusted for wheat, barley and triticale crops.

“Farmstar”, a service of Airbus Defence and Space and ARVALIS – Institut du végétal for precision farming based on satellite information, has been further improved: new images acquired by the SPOT 6 and SPOT 7 satellites will make it possible to issue intra-field recommendations for areas as small as 1 hectare.

These new developments come at the right time: after an extremely difficult year, due to exceptionally poor meteorological conditions, French farmers are now more than ever looking to save on farm inputs while continuing to manage their crops sustainably and with a focus on environmental protection. The number of farmers signed up for the service has constantly risen over the past 15 years. Nearly 800,000 ha of plots were monitored by “Farmstar” last season, enabling more than 18,000 farmers to save time and money through precise management of the exact needs of their crops.

Automatic and manual modulation files are accessible to all farmers via the “Farmstar” web portal. An additional advice for calculating the nitrogen input at the 1 cm ear stage enables this input to be broken down and adjusted for wheat, barley and triticale crops. The nitrogen fertilization recommendations now take into account the objectives of the Proteins Plan for wheat quality due to new nitrogen requirement specifications for soft wheat, to optimize how this two-fold ‘yield–protein content’ objective is addressed.

“Farmstar” is a service distributed by the cooperatives, chambers of agriculture and traders dedicated to precision agriculture and crop management developed by Airbus Defence and Space and ARVALIS – Institut du végétal, in partnership with Terres Inovia. Throughout the season, the service provides reliable information that can be directly used by farmers to help them quickly make relevant decisions. This advice, combining satellite, UAV and aircraft imagery with agronomic expertise, exposes the real need of plants within each plot at different key stages in the crop growth and allows the right amount of inputs to be added in the right places at the right time.