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Thread: Drones: Practical applications in the ag sector?

  1. #1

    Drones: Practical applications in the ag sector?

    I have been seeing quite a bit of hype surrounding drones in the ag sector. I was wondering how drones can have a practical use in agriculture and are they really needed? Amaze me with your ingenious ideas. Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    Super Moderator PotterB is on a distinguished road
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Posts
    452
    I've been writing about drones for about a year now. Let me see if I can remember all the different ways I've heard farmers and agronomists already using them...

    1. Checking for stuck pivot nozzles.
    2. Checking for tears in polypipe irrigation.
    3. Weed scouting.
    4. Insect scouting (saw some cool video hovering over spider mite damaged areas just last week).
    5. Disease scouting.
    6. Fertility scouting.
    7. Looking for random problem areas (drowned out parts of the field, etc.)
    8. Harvest decision-making - fly to 3-4 fields to see which ones are ready and which ones aren't.
    9. Taking beautiful farm photography to share with family/friends.
    10. Collect field video or photos to share with agronomist/consultant.
    11. Collecting thermal imagery.
    12. Collecting NDVI imagery.
    13. Checking on livestock. (I have see a video of drones "herding livestock, you tell me how practical this is, though.)
    14. Checking fences.
    15. Checking if the neighbor's kids were having a party while the parents were out of town. (Note: the farmer who told this story said he politely declined.)
    16. Scouting for wildlife.
    17. Scouting for feral hogs.
    18. ID tile line locations.
    19. ID compaction problems.
    20. Record photos/video of wind or hail damage for crop insurance purposes.

    There's 20 ideas to get you started. I'm sure there are a lot more that I haven't thought of yet!

  3. #3
    Interesting, exciting to see what the future holds!

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by PotterB View Post
    I've been writing about drones for about a year now. Let me see if I can remember all the different ways I've heard farmers and agronomists already using them...

    1. Checking for stuck pivot nozzles.
    2. Checking for tears in polypipe irrigation.
    3. Weed scouting.
    4. Insect scouting (saw some cool video hovering over spider mite damaged areas just last week).
    5. Disease scouting.
    6. Fertility scouting.
    7. Looking for random problem areas (drowned out parts of the field, etc.)
    8. Harvest decision-making - fly to 3-4 fields to see which ones are ready and which ones aren't.
    9. Taking beautiful farm photography to share with family/friends.
    10. Collect field video or photos to share with agronomist/consultant.
    11. Collecting thermal imagery.
    12. Collecting NDVI imagery.
    13. Checking on livestock. (I have see a video of drones "herding livestock, you tell me how practical this is, though.)
    14. Checking fences.
    15. Checking if the neighbor's kids were having a party while the parents were out of town. (Note: the farmer who told this story said he politely declined.)
    16. Scouting for wildlife.
    17. Scouting for feral hogs.
    18. ID tile line locations.
    19. ID compaction problems.
    20. Record photos/video of wind or hail damage for crop insurance purposes.

    There's 20 ideas to get you started. I'm sure there are a lot more that I haven't thought of yet!
    Checking for livestock running amuck in a corn field.... I'm starting to see the need!

  5. #5
    I have a drone and another personal experience I had was the ability to take a photo and it is clear enough to spot aphids in soybeans from the photo. The downdraft from the drone turns the soybean leaf over and spreads the canopy to get a very nice pic

  6. #6
    Senior Member dennis1 is on a distinguished road
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    Jan 2009
    Posts
    12,883
    I like the technology trend, but for most of the ag sector, it has to be a clear day to get the drone flying, as well
    as photo ability...in my case, I was looking at a power kite to achieve a few things...the love of flying and being able
    to some visual and photo/tech imagery for checking crops, oh yes, the deer are really easy to spot, early mornings and late
    afternoons for light winds, still have to watch for trees and power lines, and to antagonize the authority, I wanted
    to be able to do some spot spraying. Check life insurance policy, private "plane" is one of those clauses that
    makes grandma say NO!

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