Waterwatch Cooperative’s interns Auke Blokland and Joep de Bruin from Delft University of Technology are doing research on the possible uses of thermal infrared in agriculture. Thermal infrared makes it possible to measure the crops’ status on water stress and diseases in an early stage, so early measures can be taken by farmers. Water stress can occur when the water supply to plants is limited or when the transpiration rate is too high. Satellites using thermal infrared could measure this and the information could be made accessible for farmers by Waterwatch Cooperative.
If farmers would be able to know the status of their crops on a regular basis and take action, crop losses can be prevented. Crop losses, due to pathogens, animals and weeds, currently take up to 40% of global agricultural productivity. The use of thermal infrared could therefore contribute to the increase of food production substantially.
The outcomes of the research can be used for Waterwatch Cooperative’s future applications in agriculture to improve global food security.