Seasonal analysis - a small dive into what FruitLook can support you with

There are various ways to use FruitLook data to help you answer questions like, “why are the yields in the one block so much higher? Did you irrigate optimally?” This is the first part of a two-part series about seasonal analysis in FruitLook.

Zonal block analysis
You can do a zonal analysis per block with the use of Field comparison under the MyField Analysis tab. Where are my areas that stress first? Are those areas the same from year to year? Does the variation even out after rain? The Biomass Production (BMProd) and Vegetation Index (NDVI) parameters clarify growth variation in a block. Identification of distinct zones can help you decide where to sample fruits or leaves or show where your blocks need additional attention. When looking at the last data set at the end of the season for the cumulative biomass production we can determine where are the truly vigorous growing areas are as well as the weaker ones. This can then be compared to the previous years to see if that pattern is the same or not.

Actual evapotranspiration (ActET) and Evapotranspiration deficit (ETDef) can be used to identify areas where stress occurs first or where water accumulates to promote vegetative growth. If the rain evens out your stress patterns it could be an indication that your irrigation is not fully optimized for all the soil types. This is very common and sometimes you can’t do anything about it, but it is important to be aware of these zones. 

Determining growth problems
With the graph comparison tool, you can compare the BMProd of the growth of different blocks with the same crop type to see if any of your blocks suffered some form of stress during the year which might have affected the yield. The same can be done with the Cumulative Biomass Production parameter.

Comparison of different year seasonal analysis
You can also compare all of the graphs to that of the previous season. Did a field produce less yield than the previous season? You might want to know why. Or do you want to evaluate a change that you introduced during the past season in your crop management? Did this change have the desired effect? 

Irrigation efficiency
By adding your ActET for the whole season you can compare that to your irrigation records. Remember your ActET is NOT just from your irrigation, but any source of water as well including rain and a water table. You can decide to what extent you want to include rain in your irrigation efficiency calculation; as long as you are doing it consistently from year to year.

Yield or income water use efficiency
By adding your ActET you can do a few variations of water use efficiencies. As biomass water use efficiency doesn’t equal yield you can work out your own by yield water use efficiency by using your tonnage per mm or cubic meter of ET. You can do the same with the income of the block. You can use either one to help you make more informed decisions when considering which crop and/or cultivar to plant.

Sensitive cultivars
By loading all your fields of the same crop on the My Graph Comparison we can quickly see which blocks or cultivars showed the highest peaks of stress. From the picture below we can see that Pink Lady B1 showed some of the highest peaks in ETDef during stress which means that that block is considerably more sensitive than some of the other blocks like Pink Lady A1 or Gala 10A.

Spatial vigor variation
Using the Field Comparison tool helps you find variations in the blocks that have only varied from year to year, but also as the season progresses. This can be a focus and something to look into when occurring out of the blue. 

Pivot tables
FruitLook has developed an Excel-based tool using macro’s and pivot tables to assist with same season analysis. This is not recommended for an Excel novice, but for someone familiar with the functionalities of Excel. This tool plots all the weekly data sets for all your fields which you can then further filter according to a category, crop, or even field name. As it makes use of pivot tables and graphs it also automatically calculated the sum of ActET, cumulative Biomass Production, etc. You can also adjust your season and only select the time period you want to see and not the whole 12 months.

If you would be interested in using this tool, please contact our TechCoach, Annaline Smith, who developed the tool. 


FruitLook is available for research

We would like to inform you that FruitLook provides data for research, opportunities for post-graduate projects, and more. For example, testing FruitLook’s nitrogen parameters with plant sap analysis, looking into soil moisture relations to ET deficit data, or the spatial variation in biomass production. 

FruitLook can provide data on biomass production (above and below ground), NDVI, Leaf Area Index, water use efficiency, evapotranspiration, and plant nitrogen. There is also historical data available in FruitLook all the way back to the 2011-2012 season if the area fell within FruitLook’s coverage area during that time period. We already have a couple of users using FruitLook in their research. An example is AneleSigadla, a student at CapePeninsula University of Technology (CPUT) pursuing a master’s degree. FruitLookplays a vital role as a tool to gather data for his project. The overall objective of his study is to do a water footprint analysis of table grape production in the Berg River region.  The specific objectives are to determine and assess:

a)    The seasonal water use, water use efficiency, and the water footprint of Crimson seedless produced under netting versus conventional production (without netting)
b)    The effect of overhead netting on the grapevine phenology, vigour, production, and quality.
c)    The seasonal irrigation and other water use for table grape vineyards of different age categories. 

This study has two components, namely:
i.        A field trial including three mature production blocks (consisting of a net covered block, as well as two open [uncovered] blocks) to determine the vineyard water use under nets, compared to without nets.  
ii.        A case study (survey) to determine irrigation and other water use (water used for spray applications in the vineyard and water used in the pack store), including table grape vineyards of different age categories, supported with field data and FruitLook data of selected representative commercial blocks in the Berg River region of the Western Cape, SA. FruitLook data were incorporated in this study and is a vital practical tool for the water footprint assessment.  
Anele’s project falls within an extensive Water Research Commission (WRC) and Vinpro funded project of Caren Jarmain (Project leader) “Water footprint as sustainability indicator of table and wine grape production” and in this project, FruitLook data was used to obtain ET and other values for calculations to determine water footprints for production units included in the study. The above examples show the opportunities that FruitLook can give to researchers and/or students to do the required research.
If you are interested in making use of this goldmine of data for your research or project, please feel free to contact Dianca Yssel at 0725442084 or Annaline Smith at 0662122211, or email us at /

Next Webinar: 22nd of July2021

In order to support all FruitLook users with their use of the FruitLook data and website, we will be hosting online webinars. These are accessible free of charge for anyone. Let's be productive during the lockdown and get going with remote sensing and precision agriculture! We have decided to make our next upcoming training sessions bilingual. The first training of the month will be in Afrikaans while the second one (mid-month) will be in English. Please make sure of the dates when you register. Different dates can be selected from the drop-down list when completing your registration.

Part 1/3  – Getting Started: This is for beginners who have never been on FruitLook before and would like some help to register fields for the first time. This part is starting at 09:00. Click on the link below for more information and to register.

Part 2/3 – Introduction to FruitLook: For those who already have an account and fields ordered, you can join from here onwards. In this part, the data components and website functionalities will be explained, as well as how the data is produced. This webinar session will start at 10:00. Click on the link below for more information and to register.

Part 3/3 – Website functionality and data analysis
For the users already well accustomed to this tool, you can choose to only join at this part, at 11:00. Please click on the link below to find out what we will be presenting in this part and to register for it.

We will be presenting these training sessions on a biweekly basis so you can choose during registration the date that suits you well. This is perfect for those who don’t have 3 full hours to spread it out over 6 weeks.

The dates are as follows:
July 22nd English

This is also an ideal opportunity for those who live far away from where we usually have our training sessions to learn more on remote sensing and how to use our data and the FruitLook website, so feel free to help us spread the word to the whole Western Cape by forwarding this email to other farmers whom you think might be interested! 
Thank you for your continued support and we hope you will find the online training useful!
The FruitLook team

FruitLook tutorials on YouTube

Let us help you to get the most out of your FruitLook data! 

We want to help you understand your data as well as possible, and we are more than willing to be in touch with you. But, do you just want a short and to-the-point tutorial, some explanation of how something works? We have another solution. We have an active YouTube channel with short videos on FruitLook - we have information on how to draw in a field, how to use the biomass production option, and more. We keep on making videos and will make them short so you have access to information whenever you may need it. You can find our channel through this link, if you subscribe you will be updated automatically.