Drought analysis for farmers using drone technology

An unusually dry summer with drought-like conditions is making headlines across the East Coast and Midwest, and has farmers wondering what they can do now to prevent huge losses at harvest time.

While traditional methods of analyzing crop health like walking a field and manually inspecting plants can burn time and money, Detailed Aerial Solutions offers a simpler and much more accurate method: using drone technology.

“Drone imagery can create a mosaic map of farm fields to analyze drought stress conditions,” said John Ruggles, Director of Business Development at Detailed Aerial Solutions.

Those maps paired with tissue and soil samples can create a “prescription” that helps farmers care for the crops with greater precision, lessening lost time and lost product.
Even if drought conditions subside, excessive early dryness can lead to smaller fruit and lower yields; if a farmer can identify trouble areas down to precise field sections, it can have a significant economic benefits.

“Think about walking a field and collecting data by hand,” Ruggles said. “Compare that to flying a drone over an area; within a short amount of time, aerial imaging can be coupled with software that analyzes multiple conditions including crop stress and soil moisture.”

Knowing where to focus salvaging efforts like irrigation based on highly precise mapping and analysis of samples and conditions eliminates large amounts of wasted resources and saves money and time in the long run.

“Obtaining a bird’s-eye snapshot, coupled with advanced data analysis can nip big farming losses in the bud, even when Mother Nature isn’t cooperating,” Ruggles said.

Ed – http://ardupilot.org/planner/docs/mission-planner-overview.html