Drones Taking Precision Agriculture to New Heights


In 2017, growers will need to adopt unmanned aerial systems for the supervision of their fields, agriculture experts said. With the new FAA regulations for flying drones, the aerial systems will be simple to operate, with no rules to worry about.

The global market for drone is increasing exponentially, and $32.4 billion are designated to agriculture accounting, according to PricewaterhousCoopers.

DroneDeploy, a cloud-based image processing and data analysis software, wants to be the main company for farmers, when supervising crop and track fields. They focused on delivering the software for the drone, rather than creating the drone.

The software can be used with any unmanned system, with just the touch of a mobile app. The drone starts flying the route set by the farmer, and collects all the pictures and other information. Then, the user upload it to the cloud, where DroneDeploy reveals a map showing areas with distress and variability.

"You literally push a couple of buttons, the drone flies the field like a lawnmower, collects the data, and processes the data," said agtech consultant Chad Colby. "It's a very valuable tool," he said.

With the software, the farmers not only quickly identify the problem, but also the decision making will be fast, and all with a low cost. Previously, growers had to use satellites to get this information, which take too long to process it.

DroneDeploy offers both a free service and paid service, which starts at $99 per month.

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