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November/December 2020 | Muedanyi Ramantswana

Assessing seedling survival with Skylab’s seedling counter

Digital Technology

Stand assessment

Survival of a tree stand is critical for the efficient utilization of the stand, resources and to yield a good return in forestry.


What is it?
SKYLAB’s Seedling Counter uses machine learning and artificial intelligence to analyse drone images, automatically count all seedlings and differentiate them from weeds and other features. The resulting colour-coded digital grid maps show seedling and weed density, as well as relative vitality.

Benefits of the Seedling counter
The uncertainty inherent in spot sampling is massively reduced, since the seedling counter covers 100% of the stand or plantation. There is no need for terrestrial sampling and the forester can be sure he has not overlooked any areas of planting failure. The average accuracy is >97%, which makes it the best seedling-counting tool in the world. A 95% level of automation means that the processing time is fast and the price is low.


Ilustration of Seeding count and weed map

Other interesting information
No fancy equipment is necessary for data capture - all you need is a standard drone with a good RGB camera, such as the Mavic Pro 2.

For more information visit: SKYLAB