Does green means good?
Below is how Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh India looked like on Feb 08, 2016 form the eyes of a satellite, with gray/white areas generally representing city dwellings, brown-ish barren area and lush green large areas (marked by red rectangle)
But green does not necessarily mean all is good. If you see same area as an NDVI image (Normalized Difference Vegetation Index) below, you would start noticing patches of yellow and green and shades in between. Everything you see here in yellow are vegetation (crop or forests) under stress and are not in perfect health compared to neighboring areas.
The normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) is a simple graphical indicator that can be used to analyze remote sensing measurements, typically but not necessarily from a space platform, and assess whether the target being observed contains live green vegetation or not.
On further zoom below, you would notice, that very large areas of apparently green looking patches are actually yellowish, meaning they are sick/stressed and are not in perfect condition. If you do a rough guesstimate here, probably 85% of this area inside rectangle is stressed.
Why is NDVI is important?
If you have grew up in/around farmland or orchard, you may have noticed how color of leaves changes when they are under stress (e.g. water shortage), which have provided important visual clue to farmer to take correction actions (if any). However, most of the time by the time farmers notices such change in color, its probably too late.
Using techniques like NDVI allows farmers to detect such stress much more earlier in the crop cycle, sometime well ahead where farmers can take corrective measures. Very interesting aspects for crop insurance companies to consider. By using NDVI based advanced crop stress warning system, they can notify farmers about potential corrective measures, which would reduce their claim payout and increase ROI.
We are on the mission to provide data driven insights to farmers. Check us out at www.harvesting.co