Precision Agriculture

Precision Agriculture

Seeing a company that was founded back in 1837 work so closely with one founded in 2013 to deliver data to farmers reveals how much of an impact drones have had on the agriculture industry. One of the oldest occupations of mankind is now able to leverage the latest advances to define a future which will see more efficient and effective ways to grow and maintain crops on the farm.

It's not just about creating and enabling better approaches around food production though. Drones are making an impact on other areas of the farm, which extends from cattle herding to greenhouse monitoring. Few farmers can imagine the kind of capabilities that are now readily available.

Those capabilities are being demonstrated by people like Young Kim, as he works to define the precision agriculture marketplace for drones and ensure growers can see a positive ROI. Others like Nolan Berg are explaining how Part 107 Regulation impacts the approach growers can take on the farm. Drones have presented growers with incredible opportunities, and those opportunities are only getting more powerful and effective as the technology continues to mature.


Market update for Precision Agriculture: Summer 2016Students believe in change through drones

Officially launched in April 2016, Aerial Agriculture is a start-up company founded in 2015 by by two mechanical engineering students from Purdue. They believe change in the agricultural industry comes through the use of drones. Building their own drones in-house, they offer a system able to scan 5,000+ acres per day and deliver the analytics on their custom mapping interface within 48-hrs.

Clients can access the information with a tablet and use the real-time analytics to define the best solutions for each situation. Austin Deardorff, one of the co-founders of Aerial Agriculture, said he loves knowing he’s making a positive impact in the ag industry. “It’s been some of the most rewarding work I’ve ever done,” Deardorff said. “It’s pretty spectacular to see results being produced by a team that you guys are all a part of and seeing actual legitimate results based on all of your hard work.”

To read the whole story and watch the video follow the link.


Market update for Precision Agriculture: Summer 2016Tradition meets technology

Take a company founded in 1837, mix it with an agricultural intelligence company founded in Colorado in 2013, and you’ve a window into the future of precision agriculture. Agribotix just opened their doors three years ago, but their announcement around being able to integrate with John Deere's Operations Center, a company which was founded almost 200 years ago, is more proof of how the industry is changing and evolving before our eyes.

Results from the award-winning Agribotix FarmLens platform, which provides farmers comprehensive, actionable data to increase yields and reduce cost, can now be sent directly to a user’s John Deere Operations Center account. The Agribotix Digital Scouting Report, presented as the most intuitive and effective in the drone analytics market, combines whole-field evaluations with field-specific weather data and location-tagged photos and comments from scouts or agronomists.

To find more information about this integration follow the link to Agribotix.


wf_12563_uav_336x280Cattlemen want to herd with drones

Farmers in Alabama are discovering how to keep an eye on their crops…from the sky. With the FAA easing restrictions around the commercial operation of UAVs, many farmers are seizing the opportunity to finally explore the technology.

John McMillan, commissioner of the Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries, said drones  are useful to many Alabama farmers, and not just to monitor their crops. Cattlemen also want to use drones to help herd and evaluate their cattle, and even find missing animals in the fields. A greenhouse company that provides flowers and plants for distribution plans to use a drone for its greenhouses in order to help spray pesticides and fungicides on its plants using GPS technology.

The complete story reveals other interesting aspects of a revolution that is changing the way growers think about their approach on the farm.


Market update for Precision Agriculture: Summer 2016Changing agriculture from above

The use of drones in agriculture can be traced back to the 80s, although only recently have growers been able to get a real understanding of their true value. Many people still think of drones as a toy for hobbyists, but  the agriculture industry is set for a high-technology makeover on account of the planning and strategy that will derive from the real-time data gathering and processing which drones are enabling.

The article, "Six Ways Drones Are Revolutionizing Agriculture" looks at six fields where drones, both terrestrial and aerial, will change everything. According to the article, “agricultural producers must embrace revolutionary strategies for producing food, increasing productivity, and making sustainability a priority. Drones are part of the solution, along with closer collaboration between governments, technology leaders, and industry.”

To read the whole story follow the link to MIT Technology Review. It’s an interesting look at how aerial and ground-based drones will be used throughout the crop cycle.


Market update for Precision Agriculture: Summer 2016UAVs in water management

The entrepreneurial bug struck Scott Hiebert at an early age, but drones became the means by which he was able to satisfy that ambitious spirit. He created a company offering services to farmers after having used them on his own farm. But that's just the beginning of the story

"The Big Idea: Drone technology that offers intel" for farmers is an article that details how drones are making an impact on the farm, much of which isn't groundbreaking for anyone who's familiar with the technology. However, Hiebert discovered one thing which does make his story stand out: water management is a key area UAVs can be used in.

wf_12563_uav_300x600That’s an area his company, Green Aero Tech, is exploring intensively. Their services can quickly and accurately spot problem points and map moisture below the surface. Their water accumulation simulations combined with run-off analysis can provide a new perspective so clients can understand, address and even prevent water flow issues. If a client needs to address a crop health problem, a proactive approach looking at water management might get to the root of the issue, says Hiebert.

Read the whole story following the link to the article published by Question.


Drones help to make better wine

Wine makers often state that in the Mediterranean region, where grapes more or less originated, the best vines grow on the poorest and driest land. That perspective makes it essential for us to recognize that a future with more droughts is one that's also going to need more drones.

Researchers in the Washington area have keyed in on that issue and are working with the grapevine industry to develop new irrigation methods which have the potential to save growers up to half the water they currently use. The study’s preliminary results suggest that by applying 60 percent of the normal amount of water directly to the vine roots, growers could maintain the same grape yield while wasting less water on evaporation and weeds. The research team uses drones because flying above the vineyards and collecting data on crop health is more efficient than current ground-based methods. Additionally, using less water can stress the plant just enough to produce a more premium quality wine grape.

To read this interesting story follow the link to the article published by the Daily Evergreen.


Drones that shoot… seeds

Market update for Precision Agriculture: Summer 2016The time when a group of people working as a team to replant trees may well be over if DroneSeed has its way. The company has developed a drone equipped with a mini-cannon that fires seeds using compressed air. Advantage: the drone can plant 800 seeds in one hour, a number that would take a whole day for one person. The company says this method can reduce replanting costs by at least ten-fold.

DroneSeed’s drones are not only more effective than a human worker, but they also are safer to operate and more affordable than a human work crew. This is an essential factor for logging companies, as a suite of drones potentially costs less than a team of workers and can operate without the physical hazards humans face in the field.

Read the whole story following the link to the article published at Yahoo! Tech.


5 rules farmers should know

Market update for Precision Agriculture: Summer 2016

With so much information about what can, should and will change with FAA regulation, it can be difficult to know what's really important, especially as that information relates to farmers. The Farm Industry News article, “5 things to know about new drone rules” is a great resource for any farmer who wants to learn about the essential aspects of the new FAA legislation and what it means to precision agriculture. The article is based on a conversation with Thomas Haun, executive vice president of PrecisionHawk.

The rules to keep in mind are:  No pilot's license needed, watch your weight, make sure no one is around, hiring people to fly for you is now a realistic option, and to make sure to keep the drone in sight and under 400 feet. As a bonus, the author of the text adds one more rule about drone swarms. As the article mentions, “for agriculture, the rules are basically nothing but good news”.

Read the whole story following the link to Farm Industry News.


Market update for Precision Agriculture: Summer 2016Drones learn to count plants

Using drones to count plants and perform stand analysis has long been a dream of the precision agriculture community  but now it’s now more than just wishful thinking. Anya Lamb, marketing manager at DroneDeploy announced that the company teamed up with Aglytix and AgriSens to offer new tools for precision agriculture. Those tools are specific to the level of being able to count individual plants.

Aglytix allows farmers to get an accurate classification of an entire field, with focus on commodity crops like corn and soy. But that’s just the start, because with AgriSens, developed in Serbia, it's possible to combine aerial imagery with computer vision to help growers count every single one of their plans if they so desire. AgriSens tool shines with seasonal row crops (e.g., tomato, sunflower, potato), in early growing stages and in perennial plantations throughout the year.

Read the whole story following the link to the article published at DroneDeploy.