In this post we show you the benefits of the Chlorophyll Index for crop monitoring. We use this type of indexes within Mapsens® Agro to respond to the specific needs of our customers. We include an example of a real calculation of an intensive olive crop in Argentina.

Nowadays, the use of vegetation indices is increasingly common in the field of precision agriculture, either from images obtained from multispectral cameras mounted on drones or from free or paid satellite imagery.

The most widely used index in remote sensing has so far been the NDVI whose formula is a quotient between the red and near infrared bands.

NDVI is an index that is affected by the soil in the initial stages of crop development and, on the contrary, in the stages of maximum vegetative development, it tends to saturate, i.e., it does not show significant differences between its high values.

There are other indices that are gaining weight as a complement to the traditional NDVI. An example would be soil-adjusted indices such as SAVI (Soil Adjusted Vegetation Index) or chlorophyll indices.


Chlorophyll can be easily detected by remote sensing due to its light behavior, since as a photosynthetic pigment it tends to absorb certain wavelengths. Chlorophyll indices focus only on plant masses to calculate the content of this pigment through specific visible and infrared bands, as these bands are sensitive to variations in chlorophyll content.

Thanks to this index we will be able to be aware of the real state of health of the vegetation, comparing between different periods, detecting changes in the amount of chlorophyll before it becomes evident in the crop.

Example of changes in the chlorophyll index in an olive tree plantation between two consecutive months:

Actual Chlorophyll Index comparison of a olive grove crop by Mapsens® Agro


These decreases in the index will not always be related to stress or disease in the vegetation but can also be due to:

– Pruning in woody crops.

– Clearing of vegetation cover between streets.

– Beginning of leaf fall in deciduous crops due to the onset of the autumn period.

– End of the vegetative cycle in herbaceous crops.

Keep you informed 😀