In 2018, with scholarship funds from the Bell-MTS Innovations in Agriculture Program, we began the TGASCam initiative. We use true-colour images captured by a stationary camera to remotely determine (1) crop phenological development (i.e. growth stage) using the BBCH-scale and (2) crop heights or snow pack depth in winter so we know when to adjust the gas intake height on each micrometeorology tower. The camera also captures Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) images.

The camera is currently mounted on the central weather station and faces southeast towards the micrometeorology station in Plot 3. It is programmed to take a photo every hour from 8 am to 8 pm; these are automatically uploaded to our server. Included in the field of view during the growing period is a high contrast post used to estimate crop height; each segment is approximately 30 cm (1 ft).

The most recent image is displayed below.

Click on the image to view it in full size.

TGAS-MAN Camera Highlights

Same place, one year apart. Winter 2021 brought very little snow and fields were bare by mid-march (left) which contributed to drought-like conditions; Winter 2022 brought the third highest amount of snow since 1872, leaving us with snow-covered fields in mid-march (right) .
The TGAS-MAN Camera takes 13 photos a day, each capturing field activity for only a fraction of a second. The likelihood that one of those images would include the Manitoba Field Sasquatch is infinitesimal! However, the figure in this picture is not blurry, leading us to believe it is probably Katie, the TGAS-MAN technician, checking out Tower 3.
A beautiful view of a TGAS micrometeorological station, including a few optical phenomena called “halos”, which are created by sunlight interacting with ice crystals suspended in the atmosphere. To the left of the sun, you can see a bright parahelion (aka sun dog) with a partial parhelic circle extending outward (bright horizontal line) and part of a 22° halo extending above and below the sundog (Jan 18, 2021 at 9am).
TGAS-MAN through from spring thaw to post-harvest. In 2019, oats were grown at TGAS-MAN as part of a study on the effects of cover cropping on nitrous oxide emissions.
Following termination of fall rye, TGAS-MAN was planted with oats in 2019, to investigate the effect of the increasingly popular practice of cover cropping on N2O emissions.

Welcome to the Applied Soil Ecology Lab at the University of Manitoba