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Deploy a Drone to Scout Fields and More

With so many farmers having to deal with such a wet spring, drones have been an efficient way to identify areas that needed to be replanted and even ones that can’t be replanted. A drone is also a great tool to help identify weather-related damage without adding compaction to fields.

“The advantage of using a drone is that each picture is georeferenced, which allows a farmer to get accurate measurements for his claims adjuster with scientific evidence to back up that claim,” says Landon Smith, PrecisionHawk.

As you scout your fields this season, Smith says utilizing a drone can help you stay on top of potential issues.

“I recommend flying each field at least once a month to collect data that can be used to compare/contrast with previous data,” he says. “Whether that information is from a drone or your prescriptions, you can evaluate your crop’s progress (or lack of) easily with a drone.”

It can also help you be proactive when it comes to managing weeds.

PrecisionMapper released an algorithm that allows you to determine weed pressure in your field,” says Smith. “With this information, you can increase your efficiency in spot spraying and identifying problem areas while they are still manageable and in some cases invisible to the naked eye.”

You can also use it to home in on areas that could benefit from improvements.

“For example, collecting data with standing water in your field will allow you to identify problem areas and come up with a solution to address them in the future, such as tiling,” says Smith.

The usefulness of a drone isn’t limited to the fields.

“Grain bins are slowly being emptied in anticipation of this year’s crop,” he says. “Rather than climb a bin, flying a drone over it is a safe alternative to identify problems or evaluate necessary maintenance.” 

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