Data Collection now is easier than ever before!
Drones are becoming one of the most used tools in agriculture. A farmer with the help of a drone can see crops from above hundreds of times cheaper and faster than satellites or planes. Such availability allows to identify variety of crops’ problems in early stages and take appropriate actions to stop or even prevent a problem from happening. Everything sums up in data collection and how efficiently it can be used to save money and time in your farm. Remember: data is power.
There are two main ways how drones can be used to collect data.
1. Real time information. Take-off and see your whole field from above on
your phone or tablet. It allows you instantly get “full picture” of how well your crops are performing not only on corners of your field but also in mid-field. If there are areas where crops are not growing well, because wild animals tread down or storm beat down the yield – you can immediately identify damage volumes and calculate potential loss. So, even a single drone take-off can become beneficial because you will understand your crops’ performance better.
2. (a). Software (+Sensors, which are optional).
If your field is quite large (100 – 500 acres; 40 – 200 Ha), then it would be a smart move to have one picture of your whole field. There are great applications (e.g. DroneDeploy, Pix4D, etc.) to make it happen. Specifically, DroneDeploy helps you to easily set up a drone to fly over your field autonomously and capture all your crops. It means that you only need to set up the application on a phone/tablet and click “Start”. Drone will do all the rest.
After the mission is flown, application will combine all photos in one “full picture”. On same application you will be able to analyze data (i.e. photos) which were collected and combined with drone and DroneDeploy.
2. (b). Most popular sensor in agriculture is NIR (Near-InfraRed) light sensor. It is widely used in crops monitoring as it helps to identify light reflection from plants. Light reflection is important as it helps to indicate healthiness of plants. If plant is not healthy – less light is reflected. NIR light is not visible to human’s eye, so this kind of sensor allows to see if plants are stressed. NDVI map helps to observe such data. NIR light and NDVI maps often help to prevent crop losses from spreading widely within the field.