Earlier this year, Geospatial Intelligence (GI) was tasked by a client with developing strategies for monitoring and detecting frost damage in a vineyard in Tuscany, Italy. Late season frosts present a significant financial risk to the agricultural sector, with crop losses from environmental factors expected to increase significantly due to climate change.
Using historic climate data, GI identified late season frost events at the study site and combined these with vegetation indices to assess the spatial extent of frost damage on vine health. The results indicated that vine health was reduced following late frost events in a number of the study sites. GI was able to quantify the extent of this impact and provide advice regarding vine susceptibility to future frost damage.
This study demonstrates the effectiveness of remote sensing techniques in estimating crop losses due to environmental factors including disease, climate and pests. GI envisions that this technique could be readily scaled up and applied to larger agricultural operations such as broadacre cropping and orchards worldwide.