Farmers are realising that drones are pretty useful about the farm. With a special sensor attached, a drone suddenly becomes a serious – we’d say essential – farming tool. And it’s now an affordable one too.
We’ve teamed up with Sentera, perhaps the leading specialist sensor manufacturer in the world, to bring their technology to New Zealand. Installed on the world’s most popular drone, the DJI Phantom series, these sensors transform a reliable, affordable video-capable drone into a plant health and precision agriculture survey tool.
The sensor monitors reflected Near Infra Red (NIR) light. Healthy plants absorb visible light and reflect NIR; less healthy ones reflect more visible light and absorb more NIR. Combined into a “plant health index” called NDVI (Normalised Difference Vegetation Index), you’ve got a neat map showing you the good, the bad and the ugly on your farm.
A 20-minute survey and 2 minutes on the laptop in the field can show you plant health over a 20 hectare field. Over or under fertilizing? Over or under irrigating? Are there any diseases creeping across the crop? These surveys are the key to real time decision making and saving you money.
The drone’s standard camera also works on the survey, creating data that can be used to make 2D and 3D precision maps, measure plant height, crop counts and many other things besides.
And when not doing surveys, the drone is the same useful and fun tool for video and high resolution photography. Inspect roofs, power lines, trees, check remote fences and paddocks, record where stock is located and, of course, take professional video footage of your farm and your life.
We promise you do not need to have had a career in the air force, be a professional video gamer or a teenager to work this drone. If you can use a laptop, you can do this. Yes, you can.
The team at DroneMate are very proud of our product. Our aim is to take the hassle and expense out of setting up your own agriculture sensing drone. Your drone has been set up in our workshop and is almost ready to fly. We have done everything we can to make it easy for you to get flying quickly and to get value from your drone. And have fun!