Agriculture Americas

How DroneDeploy’s app is about to make farming more efficient


By Matt McFarland

DroneDeploy, a start-up poised to make farms and other businesses significantly more efficient, launched its mobile app Tuesday and announced it will be compatible with one of the world’s most popular drones.

DroneDeploy’s software, which automates drone flights, crunches the data and quickly provides it in a useful manner, will work on DJI’s Phantom 2 Vision +. DroneDeploy’s secret sauce is its ability to take the pain and hassle out of operating a drone for commercial use.

“Farmers can fly the field at 11 o’clock in the morning, and after lunch be applying chemicals with pinpoint accuracy,” said Bret Chilcott, founder of AgEagle, which makes drones for the agricultural industry. “What that does is it saves the farmer a ton of money. Chemicals are really expensive.”

He’s been testing DroneDeploy’s software on his drones for about 10 months ahead of Tuesday’s official release, and says he’s found nothing that measures up to it. Chilcott believes DroneDeploy’s dominance could be on a Google or Microsoft type level.

With DroneDeploy a drone can be easily told to fly on autopilot over a farmer’s fields. Shortly after the drone lands a farmer will already be able to review the maps and data gathered by the drone. With NDVI data, a farmer can what portions of his fields are healthy, and what portions aren’t.

He can then download a geotagged image out of DroneDeploy and upload that into his usual farming software to apply a dose of fertilizer to only the area of his field that is in need.

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