Agriculture gives UAVs a new purpose

decrease font size  Resize text   increase font size       Printer-friendly version of this article Printer-friendly version of this article

Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), sometimes referred to as “drones,” have found a use beyond the military. According to Rory Paul, founder and CEO of Volt Aerial Robotics, a UAV company, the sky’s the limit for what these devices offer farmers.

“UAVs will be very useful, efficient and economical in scouting crops for diseases and other pests and also for surveying crop conditions and predicting yields,” says Paul. “UAVs have low costs for operation and provide extremely high-resolution images.”

Traditionally, agricultural imagery has been acquired by satellites or manned aircraft. While both can cover large areas, they can be costly for farmers, have extended waiting periods to get the images back and can’t provide the high-resolution images provided by UAVs.

In a recent Focus on Soybean webcast, Paul discussed four ways UAVs can be used for agricultural purposes:

  1. Mapping — This is potentially the most important application as UAVs have the ability to gather hundreds of images of a field, which can be processed and turned into a high resolution map. This allows a farmer to see everything going on in the interior of his fields.
  2. Crop scouting — UAVs are portable, making them an easy addition to a farm. Farmers can send a UAV over a field and see on a monitor the images the UAV is taking in real time. This helps cut down on the time spent scouting crops and gives a farmer a much bigger overview of what’s happening in his or her field.
  3. Population counting — UAVs can be pre-programed to fly to a specific GPS coordinate in a field and take an image of that exact area. Then a farmer can count the number of emerged plants and manage based on that information.
  4. Prospect of crop dusting, aerial applications — This has not been done in the United States yet but has the potential to be very beneficial. In the future it may be possible for these UAVs to be operated by farmers, reducing production costs dramatically. However this potential application faces numerous technical and policy hurdles before it will become a reality.

The soy checkoff supports the “Focus on Soybean” webcasts through a partnership with the Plant Management Network. All U.S. soybean farmers have access to this full presentation for free until April 30, while a shorter executive-summary version of the presentation is always available.

Buyers Guide

Doyle Equipment Manufacturing Co.
Doyle Equipment Manufacturing prides themselves as being “The King of the Rotary’s” with their Direct Drive Rotary Blend Systems. With numerous setup possibilities and sizes, ranging from a  more...
A.J. Sackett Sons & Company
Sackett Blend Towers feature the H.I.M, High Intensity Mixer, the next generation of blending and coating technology which supports Precision Fertilizer Blending®. Its unique design allows  more...
R&R Manufacturing Inc.
The R&R Minuteman Blend System is the original proven performer. Fast, precise blending with a compact foot print. Significantly lower horsepower requirement. Low inload height with large  more...
Junge Control Inc.
Junge Control Inc. creates state-of-the-art product blending and measuring solutions that allow you to totally maximize operating efficiency with amazing accuracy and repeatability, superior  more...
Yargus Manufacturing
The flagship blending system for the Layco product line is the fully automated Layco DW System™. The advanced technology of the Layco DW (Declining Weight) system results in a blending  more...
Yargus Manufacturing
The LAYCOTE™ Automated Coating System provides a new level of coating accuracy for a stand-alone coating system or for coating (impregnating) in an automated blending system. The unique  more...
John Deere
The DN345 Drawn Dry Spreader can carry more than 12 tons of fertilizer and 17.5 tons of lime. Designed to operate at field speeds up to 20 MPH with full loads and the G4 spreader uniformly  more...
Force Unlimited
The Pro-Force is a multi-purpose spreader with a wider apron and steeper sides. Our Pro-Force has the most aggressive 30” spinner on the market, and is capable of spreading higher rates of  more...
BBI Spreaders
MagnaSpread 2 & MagnaSpread 3 — With BBI’s patented multi-bin technology, these spreaders operate multiple hoppers guided by independent, variable-rate technology. These models are built on  more...

Comments (0) Leave a comment 

e-Mail (required)


characters left

Declining Weigh Blending System

Ranco Declining Weigh (DW) is the standard in fertilizer blending because of the speed and accuracy of the blending process. ... Read More

View all Products in this segment

View All Buyers Guides

Feedback Form
Feedback Form