On 26 October 2015, a workshop dedicated to the topic satellite farming as a cloud service took place at the Agricultural Data Processing Centre (MLOY) in Vantaa, Finland. Organised under the auspices of AP Finland, SatAgria was hosted by Vesa Sandvik and Sinikka Tommila from MLOY.
During the presentations, various benefits and challenges of using satellite data for agriculture were identified. It was agreed that satellite imagery of biomass could be very useful, with farming equipment using it for mapping the fields for different operations. Satellite data could be used for such things as comparing imagery from different periods (for example, to see changes in yield), measuring the fertilizer (information could be sent straight to the farming equipment), and obtaining general information about fields.
The challenges include the size and complexity of modern farms as well as weather conditions. Satellite data would need to be compatible with existing equipment, offering a resolution of two meters at a minimum, and ideally no more than 24 hours old. The price for such a service would need to be competitive; at the present, paying for biomass imagery is too expensive for an individual farm. The added value is not always clear to the potential users.
The turnout for the workshop was 23 participants, with significant interest in developing this activity into an ARTES IAP project.