Euralis has teamed up with Airbus Defence and Space as well as the Arvalis and Cetiom technical institutes to develop the Farmstar Expert service, exclusively in the South-West of France. With the help of satellite imagery and precise agronomic models, farmers can analyse their crops’ requirements and target their inputs of fertilisers and phytosanitary products more accurately across their plots.
The satellites are located 800 kilometres above the earth and monitor any changes in crops and plots. As they pass over regularly, they are able to measure the biomass (organic matter of both plant and animal origin) and plants’ chlorophyll levels. These data are essential in revealing the crop’s nitrogen requirements. By combining satellite imagery with Arvalis and Cetiom’s agronomic expertise, farmers get detailed information of their crops’ health.
Farmstar Expert has been running since 2002 and is used in the northern half of France by 15,000 farmers across a production area of around 700,000 hectares. The results are positive. Through this technology, inputs are optimised by adapting the amount used in line with the disease pressure and the plants’ requirements and thereby reducing the risks of water pollution. By inputting nitrogen at the right place, at the right time and in just the right amount, Farmstar Expert is also improving the cereals’ levels of protein, thereby increasing their production.
“This project is a perfect addition to our Progress Contract strategy. It ties in with our aim to provide our members with innovative solutions and new services to sustainably improve the performance of their farms whilst using environmentally friendly practices” Christian Pèes, Euralis president, said.
From this autumn, Farmstar Expert will be offered exclusively by Euralis in the South-West of France to wheat, barley and rapeseed producers. This crop analysis and management system is a real decision support tool, combining aerial and satellite imagery with agronomic expertise to provide information on the health and condition of plants on a plot. This information is delivered in the form of maps directly to the farmer.