How are drones helping farmers keep an eye on crops? | SciTech Now
Agriculture may be one of civilizations, earliest innovations, but today, drones and infrared technology are making farming a thing of the future where farmers once had to walk the lengths of their fields to look for pests, disease and water damage. Drones are helping farmers monitor their crops from new heights. I was I was a non-family. Employee became a partner married Debbie Forbes, which her father Fred owned farms farm. We just merged these two farms three years ago, so we currently milk, 1,200 cows and farm 2,500 acres.
I’M the manager here I plant the corn plant, the grass. We have five employees that help in the field dennis is a great customer of ours. He started off by having some the base of GPS on his machines. I came aboard about four years ago and really got really educated. The more I really got the most out of the technology and he sees the value of it when he’s out there in the field, technology is becoming a regular piece of farming, whether it becomes tillage planting spraying harvests.
There are different pieces of technology that can be used throughout the entire cropping season. This is just another tool that the farmers can kind of put into the toolbox to help them be proactive against their crops, so they can be ahead of any outbreaks of past. They can spot any water damage compaction, really look at the field as a whole, instead of walking in a few rows and just taking a look around to see. Ok, this looks pretty good here. Maybe it’s good here, but he can’t see the outbreak of aphids on the other side of the field there.
The drones will integrate right with his current GPS systems on the farm and be able to make prescriptions there in the winter time to be able to stay ahead of things. Drones are they’re a thing of the future. It’S all about efficiency. It’S a lot faster to fly a drone over a field and than it is to walk twelve hundred and fifty acres of corn. It’S so it’s impossible to walk at all.
You can fly it and see it in one day. Well, during the growing season after the corn or any of the crop gets above the ground and starts to be emergent, we can start to use this technology. What we’re gon na do is we’re gon na sit in our office and we’re gon na go pull up on a computer program that comes with we’re gon na lay out a route. Where do we want this to fly and we’ll auto pilot we’re gon na? Take it out to the field we’re gon na turn it on we’re gon na hit.
Go it’s going to take off. It’S gon na fly a route over the cornfield taking pictures over two seconds on the drone. It comes with an infrared camera and a visual eye. Camera, okay, they’re both taking pictures at the same time. Now what I can do is mesh.
Those together is what’s going to give me the shader. I can then take these images, download them into the software and stitch it to one large picture. Anything it’s gon na show up is green, it’s gon na be healthy. Crop is good photosynthesis. Anything that shows up on yellow you’re.
Getting some light reflected back. You’Ve got some bare ground. He has some stress red. You got a real problem. So after you take this information, you can look at it.
You can go out there and spot-check look exactly what these problems are. You can take the drone and zoom right down on top of it. Is it an insect problem? Is that water? Is it compaction?
You can make a proactive plan after that to try to get ahead of the problem before it becomes a permanent yield handicap. Some of the things that we found where the drones are drainage, drainage issues, a lack of nutrients – does the in the corn. This is really difficult for a lot of customers to actually take a hold of and grasp a lot. A lot of a lot of farmers. Don’T want the computer to tell them what to do that, for a computer is not going to tell me how to farm.
It’S not going to tell me how to drive a tractor. They have to really take a look and see where their deficiencies are. Where can they save some money from their waste from their costs? Right now, when I can take this technology show up to somebody’s farm who’s on the fence and show them what they’re missing, what we’re here’s, where we can save money, here’s where you’re losing money put a dollar sign onto it. That’S the key right there to really getting guys to take this.
If you can say in 18 months, you’re gon na pay back your entire investment. Did this system boy that doesn’t really hold them back very much for making the purchase orange actually better than I thought it was gon na be oh, so wet early on, we were pretty pretty worried. All the new technology is making farming easier. We, you know, we have auto steer on tractors, we push a button, it steers itself for us. You’Ve got drones, you got yield monitors on the chopper that can actually map the different yields.
Lay it over maps for soil type and no technology is a great thing for the dairy industry. That’S how we can produce that’s, how we’re gon na feed the world I thinking about in five years, we’re gon na see this is a regular technology on a lot of your larger farms, with both your dairies and your crop. Farms there’s a place for these and orchards and your niche crop your vegetables, where you got more of a higher higher commodity per capita within ten years, you’re gon na see a lot of a espies AG service providers coming out and doing this as a service. You know possibly calves equipment is one of them. This doesn’t.
This is not a job to me. This is I I don’t look at this as a job. I come here, I’m I guess scheduled days off, but I actually come here most times on my days off. This is I I enjoy doing this and it’s not a job to me. It’S a it’s.