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Question about the usefulness of drones in production agriculture?
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Posted 1/28/2020 16:36 (#8006375 - in reply to #8002139)
Subject: RE: Question about the usefulness of drones in production agriculture?

Galena, IL
I tend to agree with you on scaling up to planes (heck I believe satellites are going to be increasingly important). I realized after 5 minutes the first time I flew my drone over a field that large acreages are very challenging. The processing of the images alone requires computing power and software beyond the what the average person has.

That said, I still think drones will be useful and I will continue my personnel R&D. This year I will test developing plant counts and disease detection using visual analysis AI/machine learning techniques. You actually need to fly very low for disease detection (2-4 meters).

Also, I believe detecting herbicide drift damage will be an important niche market, since flying a plane over a given field will not be cost effective (I wouldn't be surprised to learn the insurance industry is already working on this). Estimates for the dicamba drift debacle are a million acres last year, so great potential here for drone images.

Just continuing the discussion :-)
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