Contact Dr Toby Waine

Areas of expertise

  • Digital Agriculture
  • Instrumentation, Sensors and Measurement Science
  • Monitoring and Environmental Informatics
  • Natural Capital
  • Soil
  • Soil Resources
  • Water Science and Engineering


Dr Toby Waine is an agricultural engineer with a farming background. He completed his EngD in Non-invasive soil property measurement for precision farming at Cranfield University in 1999. After, he helped to commercialise an electromagnetic induction (EMI) based soil property sensor investigated during his doctorate project while working as the Technical Manager for an IT-agronomy company. For the next three years Dr Waine gained further commercial IT experience, firstly working as a Software Engineer, then European Technical Sales Engineer for a leading mobile phone software company. Keen to contribute to better understanding of agricultural production systems, he returned to academia in 2004 to focus on the application of remote sensing and geographical information systems for land resources monitoring. Particular areas of interest are the integration of multi-spectral satellite imagery of different spatial resolutions within the context of crop survey design and crop production estimates. Dr Waine lectures on the MSc in Geographical Information Management, a course developed in collaboration with industry to provide a balanced coverage of GIS, remote sensing and spatial data analytics.

Current activities

Dr Waine's research can be grouped into 2 main themes:

  1. Land resources monitoring for crop inventory: Dr Waine has extensive experience in land use/cover monitoring where remote sensing technology is integrated with existing data sets to provide local, regional or national inventories. From measuring illicit opium production in Afghanistan to undertaking national assessments of vegetation in semi-arid climates, innovative use of remote sensing remains a key theme in both his research and consultancy work. An example of specific expertise is in developing and supporting operational methods for vegetation monitoring and providing robust, statistically-based area estimates of land cover and net primary production. Dr Waine has developed novel ways of defining land cover typologies and classification schemes for optimising classification accuracy.
  2. Food security, through the application of remote sensing to Precision Agriculture: Dr Waine’s focus is remote sensing of crops for canopy management and yield prediction. This involves understanding differences in spatial and temporal scale, and exploiting the advantages of each in combination with other datasets. An example is the ‘FarmingTruth’ feasibility study with the European Space Agency which is evaluating the commercial and technical viability of a new precision agriculture service based on the fusion of data from field-based soil and nutrient measurements with remotely sensed multi-spectral images. This service will allow growers to more accurately target inputs (e.g. fertilisers) whilst reducing waste and environmental impact. This research theme will focus on developing models and techniques to fully exploit the underlying variation of nutrients, water and soil. Many existing practices are out-dated and over-simplistic. Therefore the aim is to build a new paradigm so that fields are managed in a way that reflects their variability (e.g. in soil properties) over space and time.


  • Crop monitoring with remote sensing - working internationally with tea in Kenya, coffee in Vietnam, potatoes in China, wheat in N America, sugar in India, as well as UK arable and horticultural crops
  • Innovate UK – Exploiting satellite data for the precision management of grassland systems
  • European Space Agency – IAP feasibility study, FarmingTruth precision farming service
  • UK Government (MOD and FCO) – Survey, Monitoring, Targeting and Verification of Opium Poppy in Afghanistan: (2004-2009)
  • United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime – Illicit crop production monitoring using remote sensing, capacity building
  • Commodity traders – Improving high value crop production estimates using remote sensing
  • Magellium Ltd (UK space agency) - Crop identification using multispectral and temporal satellite remote sensing
  • Eurostat (JBA consulting) – LUCAS 2012, 2015, 2018 training of UK and Eire surveyors


Articles In Journals

Conference Papers