Crops - Archiving, Perennials and Summary

In this blog we introduce new features that have been released to via.farm.

These features improve the way Visualisations are displayed on the Visualise Farm page:

  1. Archiving Crops
  2. Crop Summary

We also provide some tips on Monitoring Perennial Crops as opposed to annual crops.

Archiving Crops

Some irrigation schemes, with many sensor arrays, are rapidly collecting a large number of crop visualisations. The number increases with each season. This is making the Visualise Farm page very busy.

To simplify the Visualise Farm page, the default view will now only display the current crops. The past crops will be available via a drop-down at the top of the page:

The trigger for moving the crop from ‘current’ to ‘archived’ occurs when a harvest date is added to a crop.

The Past Crops are grouped by year based on the planting date.

By only showing current crops on the Visualise Farm page, the page will load quicker and you will only see crops that you are currently managing.

It is very important that when crops are harvested the crop record is completed by entering the harvest date, yield and the other metrics about the harvest. It’s all about building a database of useful information for you to use.

Monitoring Perennial Crops

While via.farm was initially designed for monitoring annual crops e.g. maize, you can effectively set up visualisations for perennial crops, e.g. orchards.

When dealing with perennial crops, think of the planting date as the date to start the visualisation for the given irrigation season and the harvest date as the date to end it. For a sensor array monitoring an orchard, you might want to create one crop record per 12 months or just for the period you are irrigating. This is in comparison to having one crop record for the life of the tree, where over time the visualise grows with so much data it is too hard to see the detail.

So you could change this:

To this:

Note there is no harvest date set on the second crop record because it is a current crop and the harvest has not yet occurred.

After each year you would set the harvest date on the last crop record and enter the yield, then add one more crop record which becomes the current crop.

On the Visualise Farm page, the current crop will be displayed and the previous crop records will be available to be viewed in Past Crops.


To create your new crop record on your perennial, follow the instructions provided on the how-to guide: Adding a new crop to an existing Sensor Array

Crop Summary

There is a new button, “Summary”, at the top of the Visualise Farm page. This gives you access to a summary of your crops metrics and allows you to compare yields across seasons in an aggregated formatted.

The data is aggregated based on the farm, crop type and year.

More detail

You can click on the icon in the ‘Detail’ column to see the individual crops.

For example here is Maize, 2015 at Kiwere Irrigation Scheme in Tanzania:

Crop Moisture Triad

At the top of this page is Ternary plot (a Crop Moisture Triad) that summarises the percentages of Red, Green and Blue for all the crops. This is averaged over all three depths for the duration of the monitoring period i.e. the percentage each pattern that is Blue, Green or Red.
Explanation: A ternary plot graphically depicts the ratios of the three variables. The entire pattern for each crop is collapsed to one point. In this way many crops can be compared at the same time.
From the above triad we can see that most crop water patterns were in the Blue (wet) for more than 60% of the crop season, They were never Red (dry) and sometimes Green.

Crop detail

Below the Crop Moisture Triad is a table with the details for each crop. Click the icon in the “Vis” column takes you the view the visualise for that crop.

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