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Question about the usefulness of drones in production agriculture?
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gwagner
Posted 1/19/2020 07:30 (#7984949 - in reply to #7983659)
Subject: RE: Question about the usefulness of drones in production agriculture?



I am going to throw my 2 cents in. Last year we started doing plant populations on soybeans, corn, and sugar beets. We flew the field with a Mavic 2 pro @ 50’ (RGB color camera) to get an image about once every acre. (about 170 images of stand counts in a 160-acre field). The company (Sentera) then calculated the population by the image. I then ground-truthed the populations and it was very very close.

Instead of getting 1 or 2 stand counts I used to do, now I have a lot more information. What surprised me that in our lighter soils (colder this spring) my stand was reduced nearly 20% compared to the populations near the farm yard (where the soils were warmer). Had I VR planted this field I would have reduced the population in these areas even further, but I am glad I didn’t.

We did a split planter trial in another field and found one hybrid emerged about 15% better than another.

Unfortunately, we have not taken these 2 fields to harvest yet. Hope by February I am going to have answers to how population relates to yield.

I feel I have a “tiger by the tail”… like when I got my first yield maps back in 1993. I took several years to determine the “causation” of the difference in yields. Now I need to know if other crops under different environmental conditions will cause the same emergence issues.

With the enclosed image these 2 fields have totally different crop rotations but by looking at the plant populations it trends to soil type (and not the order 2 soil survey).

With soybeans and beets, plant population followed close to the yield map (beans) and remote sensing images in beets since we do not use a yield monitor on this crop.

The image below is a PowerPoint slide I am using at the Jamestown PA meeting
.
Another layer needed to unlock crop (or field) yield mystery......Stay tuned.


Edited by gwagner 1/19/2020 08:00




(Plant pop (full).jpg)



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