5 Surprising Things a Drone Can Tell You About Your Field

Drone ready to take flight over a field

Could you be missing out on vital information that has the potential to make your farming operation even more efficient?Drones can take pretty pictures of your farm. They can give the Peterson Bro’s parodies that special touch. But are they good for anything else when it comes to agriculture?

According to Andrew Miller, of Miller Ag Service, the answer is yes, in the hands of a professional. Miller owns and operates a drone to help local farmers assess fields for stress.

How it works

Andrew’s specialized drone is equipped with four infrared cameras that work together to make one big sensor. As the drone flies over a field, it takes two images per second. The infrared cameras take pictures of things you can’t see with the naked eye.

“When I put that information into my software, it takes every single picture and overlaps it to make a map of a farmer’s entire field,” Andrew explains.

Left Image: Drone and sensors used for field analysis. Right Image: Infrared map of field.

Left: Drone and sensors used for field analysis. Right: Infrared map of field.

Why spend the money?

With the way the markets are right now, why would you spend the money on a drone fly over?

One word: Information.

This isn’t your grandfather’s era where you can learn all you need to know just by driving around in the field. These days we can do much better, and a drone is the key to seeing the big picture.

Information a drone flyover can provide:

  1. Field health conditions such as nutrient deficiencies and pest infestations.
  2. Where you are overwatering and underwatering.
  3. Where to target herbicide applications.
  4. Crop growth from emergence to canopy closure.
  5. Automated plant counting with complete field coverage.

Timing is everything

“I can have the maps there for the farmer to see that day,” Andrew said. “They can know exactly what’s happening in their field while they still have time to act.”

Why wait until harvest to see what you could have done better? You need to know now so you can get maximum production from every single field.

It’s simple logic. The more you know, the more you produce, and the higher return you see on your farming investment.

So perhaps it’s time to ask yourself, is ignoring the drone like ignoring autosteer? Could you be missing out on vital information that has the potential to make your farming operation even more efficient? Is now the time to act?

Drone flying over field taking infrared images
To stay in-the-know about farming trends, click here to subscribe to BigIron Buzz today.