Agriculture has become a true high-tech precision industry, packed full of advanced technologies and scientific protocols from the modern tractor and combine technology, to soil sampling, vegetation indices and more. Unmanned aerial systems are the newest technology to enter this carefully optimized world—bringing the benefits of accessible aerial imagery to farmers, cooperatives, agronomists and crop consultants.
With a drone an agriculture professional can capture highly accurate images of a farm’s fields, covering up to hundreds of hectares/acres in a single flight—without the cost and hassle of manned services and at a far greater resolution than satellite imagery provides, even when there is cloud cover.
By using powerful image processing software operators can then easily transform these shots into one large ‘orthomosaic’ image. Then simply apply algorithms such as the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) to this image to create a map of the reflected crop. This map is the key to boosting yields and cutting costs, since it highlights exactly which areas of crop need closer examination— meaning less time spent scouting, and more time treating the plants that need it.
The very latest fully-featured crop scouting drones, include an even more comprehensive ‘drone to tractor’ workflow: after flying the Drne, use its optional post-flight software to generate quick NDVI maps of your crops, identify problem areas, create application maps and export prescriptions, all in the same day.