Familiarizing Growers With Unmanned Aerial Vehicles

Taylor Hillman Citrus, Corn, Cotton, Education, Field & Row Crops, General, Specialty Crops, Technology, Tree, nut & vine crops, Vegetables, Water, Wine

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Strawberry growers on the Central Coast got an update on drones and drone use. All Drone Solutions was at the Santa Maria Strawberry Field Day to answer questions about the technology and its potential.

CEO Mark Hull says growers often have lots of questions, but one that wasn’t asked was what permissible operation consists of. The term drone is a catchy title for this technology, and although some believe it casts a negative shadow, that title is here to stay. Hull says most growers are amazed when they are introduced to the smaller class of drones that are used almost strictly for real-time imaging and perspective purposes.

Growers Have Lots of Drone Questions

More and more people are becoming familiar with drones and manufacturers are making the vehicles easier to use in all aspects. Hull says the common drone is the one everyone pictures in their head. The vehicle is relatively small and has four smaller propellers, often referred to as a quad-copter.

The bigger drones are used for mapping and graphing, and the cameras attached capture huge amounts of data that log many different variables of a field. A new partner with All Drone Solutions is making the access of that data almost instant.

Types of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles

These larger drones can now handle several different elements of the mapping system. Once these drones complete a flight and all the data is processed, they can give growers detailed information about their field from pest infestation to distribution uniformity. Hull believes that the future of mapping and agriculture will rely heavily on Normalized Difference Vegetation Index images, also known as NDVIs.

Future of Mapping Data

Hull says he gets new questions he hasn’t heard before all the time from growers, even some that are a little more extreme. Although a lot of attention is being put on flying drones, Hull says those aren’t the only drone advancements going on. Several companies have recently shown vine-trimming robots and unmanned vehicles that can move potted plants, just to name a few.

Advancements of Drones Not Just Aerial