The development of drone technology has enabled farmers to improve the efficiency of traditional crop scouting; inspecting larger areas of land in much less time while gathering types of information never before possible. Drones can be provided with a pre-planned flight path or area and quickly collect data on crop health, projected yields, and potential problems. With this information in hand, farmers are equipped to make informed decisions about the correct levels and types of fertilizer, pesticide application, irrigation and more. This targeted application allows farmers to increase yield while reducing input, saving resources and increasing sustainability.
Traditional crop scouting has been given a great assist with the development of drone technology which enables farmers to inspect larger areas in much less time, and gather types of information never before possible. Provided with a pre-planned flight path or area, the drone can cover the area quickly and gather data on crop health, projected yields, and potential problems. With this information in hand, the farmer is equipped to make informed decisions about the correct levels and types of fertilizer or pesticide application. When farmers are able to make this sort of targeted application, they are able to increase yield while reducing inputs, which saves resources and lowers the environmental impact, increasing sustainability.
Healthy vegetation reflects more of certain types of light compared to unhealthy vegetation. These discrepancies are undetectable to the naked human eye, but drones carrying multispectral sensors allow them to detect up to five discrete spectral bands of light (near-infrared, red edge, green, blue) that are reflected from plant life. The ability to detect certain types of light being reflected by crops allows farmers to identify nutrient deficiencies and even detect diseases before they become problematic enough to be visible to the naked eye. This detection ability, in addition to the precision GPS available in many drone models and thermal camera sensors, aids farmers in tasks such as phenotyping, crop health mapping, water stress analysis, leak scouting, fertilizer management, zone mapping, and more. Farmers can easily download data gathered by drones for later analysis by various software programs designed to help farmers make informed decisions about their crops.
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