We’re currently investigating robotic solutions to keep an eye on key locations in fields. Scouting in this way gives you a boots-on-the-ground view, without needing to set foot in the field.
Our experience in using drones to create growth maps (see below) taught us that most growers can readily identify specific spots in every field that they’d like to keep an eye on.
Being able to deliver this data without any need for the landowner to set foot in the field means giving growers a much better idea of what’s happening on their land, at low cost and with very little effort.
We also explored how to use drones (which are flying robots) to fly over farm property and take measurements with sensors. The data collected can be used in a variety of ways:
- Plant health and growth monitoring, color-coded for easy reading. This monitors growth and spots potential problems.
- Elevation maps. Allows you to plan drainage of your field.
- Scouting images. High-resolution digital pictures and plant measurements to ground truth key areas for context.
- Variable Rate Application shapefile or .kmz generation for clients who use Precision Farming techniques.
Some non-agricultural uses of our technology include:
- Gravel Pit inventorying
- Wind Farm inspection
- Construction Site progress reports
- Roof Inspections
FOUR WAYS THIS HELPS FARMING:
#1) Lower input costs and increase yields by letting growers apply inputs more efficiently.
Fertilizer can be applied more in areas where it is needed and less in areas where it is not. Growers can use the same principles behind Precision Farming, but without the expensive equipment. Our Field Reports throughout a growing season can be used to do a “manual” variable rate application plan if you have a spraying with sectional control. Put more fertilizer where it will pay off, less where it won’t.
#2) Use our data with Precision Farming equipment for Variable Rate Application.
If you already engage in Precision Farming, we can deliver data in Shapefile and Google Earth .kmz formats, compatible with a wide variety of farm management software to generate prescriptions for Variable Rate Application of inputs so you can gain the full precision and benefits of variable rate.
#3) Verify that changes made to your fields are effective, or plan new ones.
If you have made changes that affect drainage or soil, our color-coded growth maps will let you see at a glance if those changes have been effective. Or use the data to plan new changes.
#4) Reduce losses by detecting problems earlier.
Preventable losses can be reduced by spotting trouble areas earlier. Equipment failures, flooding, or infestations all have a visible effect on growth.
Single flights are useful to understand field conditions at a glance, but we recommend regular flights throughout the season to obtain the clearest understanding of what is happening in a field.