UC Cooperative Extension Specialist Emeritus Dr. David Goldhamer talked to pistachio growers about the possibility of remote imaging and the benefits it could bring. Although not viable yet, the system would use high-altitude machines, whether it be planes, satellites or eventually drones, to record a thermal mapping of production land every week or so. Each tree’s canopy would be monitored for stress down to the pixel of the image.
The challenge in this technology is the availability of the high-altitude imagery and the cost some can be. Goldhamer says if and when this technology becomes affordable for growers, it could change how irrigation systems are created. Some find it amusing to think that each tree or plant could be individually irrigated, Goldhamer included, but he says if cost wasn’t an issue, then that would be the most precise way to irrigate.
Find out more about remote imaging and how drones could be the answer to making this technology more commonly used.