Citrus farming mapping is carried out using satellite images in a municipality in the south of Minas

The initiative is from Emater-MG, and uses a combination of information generated by satellites, images taken by drones and existing databases

27.09.2023 | 15:14 (UTC -3)
Minas Agency
Photo: publicity/Emater-MG
Photo: publicity/Emater-MG

The Technical Assistance and Rural Extension Company of Minas Gerais (Emater-MG) is carrying out a pioneering mapping of the areas occupied by citrus growing in Campanha, in the south of the state. The georeferencing work, which could serve as a model for other municipalities in Minas Gerais, is a combination of various information generated by satellites, images taken by drones, field visits and an existing database.

The result will be a detailed profile of the city's citrus industry. “We are georeferencing all properties in the municipality of Campanha, surveying the total area, the location of each property, the estimated production and even the variety planted, specifying whether it is tangerine, lemon or orange”, explains the state coordinator of Fruit Culture at Emater-MG, Deny Sanábio.

According to the coordinator, this type of mapping generates more security for the market, with accurate information about the harvest, avoiding price speculation. Furthermore, it assists in the formulation of public policies, identifies migration trends to new planting areas, with knowledge of locations in the state with potential for crop expansion. “In the future, with the advancement of technology, with the difference in color of aerial photos, we will be able to identify plots that have problems, which could be due to pest attacks or some disease”, he says.

With the mapping carried out in Campaign, it is also possible to identify where the watercourses are, the type of soil in the producing areas, the altitude where the crops are located, the slope of the land and other information. The Emater-MG georeferencing team uses images from the CBERS-4A satellite and Google Earth Pro. It also includes images taken by drones, in addition to the Phytosanitary Certificates of Origin (CFO) database, provided by the Mineiro Agricultural Institute ( MAGNET). This certificate, issued to each producer, contains the geographical coordinates of the properties.

In cases where the images and the CFO do not provide ideal accuracy, an Emater-MG technician goes to the field to check. “In some cases, for example, it is not possible to identify whether the image shows a coffee or citrus crop. In this situation, validation by the on-site technician is required. This part of the work is still being done. Soon we will have the total citrus area in the municipality”, he explains.

The mapping has already shown that tangerine crops account for approximately 50% of the total citrus crops in the municipality. The rest is occupied by orange, lemon and tangor. There are 101 producers, who are expected to harvest 52,3 thousand tons of fruit this year.

Expansion

The work of mapping areas with citrus growing in Campanha follows the model already adopted by Emater-MG with coffee growing. In 2017, the implementation of the Geoportal began, which brought together georeferenced information on the state's coffee park, covering 460 municipalities.

“Now we start with citrus farming, but we can expand to all fruit production in Minas. We will offer this type of work to other municipalities that want to hire Emater-MG to georeference the properties”, he concludes.

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