There are now around 300,000 drones registered to the Federal Aviation Administration. Drones are seeing strides forward in use after registration was opened at the end of last year, reports David Geiger, Agribusiness Report, on KCRG.com.
In agriculture, they are a new tool in a large tool box for conservation, particularly in correlating information with other precision agriculture machines.
Many drones in ag are looking towards mapping as the next best way to be more precise.
Aaron Sheller, owner of Precision Drone, says taking pictures from the sky becomes his roadmap for conserving his resources.
He calls it a prescription-based approach, when he can see crop health problems in pictures, “Once I have that, I can load it into a Google based viewer, such as an iPhone or iPad, walk out through Google Earth, drop pins, label those problems, bring that back to my office, make a prescription based solution. So I’m only applying those chemicals where they need to be. I’m only applying the fertilizer where it needs to be. I’m only applying that pesticide where it needs to be in the field.”
Sheller says on his farm, he can pay for a drone in 250 acres of work with correct use. He says on other farms he’s seen returns of $20 dollars an acre, to $75 dollars an acre with full integration of information management.