KnowH2O (https://www.knowh2o.nl/en/) is a SPECTORS partner (SME) that specializes in hydrology, water management and water quality research and consultant services. Within the scope of the SPECTORS project, KnowH2O is developing application prototypes and solutions for farm management and an integrated online information service.
Optimizing grassland fertilization practices
To give an example, KnowH2O in cooperation with Wageningen University & Research (WUR) and Hochschule Rhein-Waal (HSRW), has developed in 2018 a web-application prototype for farmers to determine the right timing and locations for the first application of manure in early spring depending on soil biological activity. KnowH2O is also involved in a project that investigates whether surface water quality can be improved by optimization of the current manure and fertilization policy in the peat soils area of The Netherlands.
The study was carried out near the town of Wilnis in the province of North Holland/NL with an area of about 250 hectares. In this area, one of the main environmental issues is the water quality of water bodies, which is reduced by eutrophication and high water temperatures during summer. To find ways to improve water quality, KnowH2O with a project team has initiated with the ‘Veenweiden Innovation Centre’ (VIC) in Zegveld/NL a monitoring and action program with the participation of four farmers.
In the project, multiple sensors including near infrared, thermal infrared and RGB cameras were used to collect aerial imagery. The georeferenced data was then analyzed in order to obtain patterns in soil temperature. A “Shiny” web-application prototype was developed to visualize the results, and can be used as a prediction tool in the spring to determine when and where farmers can apply their first manure.
KnowH2O planned to automate the workflow in the future, which could be of management value for the Dutch water boards and dairy farmers.
Visualizing remote sensing data
In collaboration with other partners within the SPECTORS project, KnowH2O is working together with an external partner (StellaSpark; https://www.stellaspark.com) for a front-end platform that could integrate information and remote sensing data from different sources, visualize the data, and even provide processing and analyzing services which fulfill different use cases. The idea is to provide information and visual aids to the customers in a way that is easy to understand their land, so that the customers could apply the most suitable treatment during management.