Canadian Crop Metrics: A new app for farmers that's out of this world
Every growing season presents new challenges for growers - from climate to disease and pests. To see what the future holds for crop yields, researchers at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) have teamed up with their colleagues at Statistics Canada to develop an innovative new tool: the Canadian Crop Metrics application.
Launched in the summer of 2020, Canadian Crop Metrics is a free user-friendly application that applies a variety of information, including satellite imagery, to predict crop yields for some of Canada's most important crops, including barley, canola, corn, peas, and wheat.
Who could have imagined that just 58 years since the launch of Canada's first satellite, Alouette 1 in 1962, Canadian farmers would have a wealth of information at their fingertips, beamed in from orbit? Call it farming: the final frontier.
Modern satellites measure the wavelengths of light bouncing off crops in the field, a kind of digital signature that tells us about the plant's condition in that moment. The app combines this satellite data with information like historical yield and climate patterns, to create a powerful tool to help navigate the growing season.
More than just numbers
Canadian Crop Metrics allows users to search for information about:
- plant health
- growth stages
- weather and,
This lets farmers adjust their practices throughout the growing season to give them the greatest chance to bring in a bumper crop at harvest time.
And it's not just farmers that benefit. Crop Metrics is also useful to agronomists and market forecasters, who can use it to follow trends and see how farms are doing by region. The app is regularly updated to give the most accurate forecasts possible, and protects the privacy of farmers by breaking information down by region, not by operation.
Where does this data come from?
The data comes from AAFC (including the Prairie Pest Monitoring Network), Environment and Climate Change Canada, Statistics Canada and provincial governments. The statistical model is based on historical yield, climate and Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) data. NDVI provides information about the type of crop, plant health, and even growth stage, through satellites that capture light waves bouncing off vegetation.
Download the Crop Metrics app today, and turn your smartphone into a farmer's almanac for the 21st century farmer.
- Offers yield forecasts for barley, canary seed, canola, corn, durum wheat, fall rye, flaxseed, lentils, mustard, oats, peas, soybeans, spring wheat and winter wheat;
- Includes forecasts for climate, weather, drought and pests, with weather forecasts that are updated daily;
- Information is displayed as average yield by area rather than individual farms;
- App is regularly updated to reflect changing factors throughout the growing season; and
- Includes access to historic data.
Use the app: Canadian Crop Metrics (agr.gc.ca)
Learn more here: New tool takes the guesswork out of crop yields
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