Agriculture

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There is a drone revolution sweeping through agriculture

Drones are very useful about the farm.  With a special sensor attached and data management software, they become an essential farming tool.

Thinking about precision ag? This is the easy way to make it happen

Precision ag is about observing, measuring and responding to small changes in crops to reduce costs, increase yield and increase your gross margin.

Observing:  we are Sentera’s guys in New Zealand.  Sentera are the leading specialist sensor manufacturer in the world.  Installed on small and reliable drones, these sensors transform a regular video-capable drone into a plant health and precision agriculture survey tool.

The plant health 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) or alternatively Red Edge (using a slightly different red wavelength), you can get a map showing you the good, the bad and the ugly on your farm.

Measuring:  a 20-minute survey can cover over 20 hectares (or more like 45 ha if aiming for only for high survey coverage).  The drone’s standard camera collects data for 2D and 3D precision maps: measure plant height, crop counts, get contour maps, area calculations, distances, runoff and many other things.  The Sentera sensor collects the plant health data at the same time.

What comes next? FieldAgent is the answer for storing, organising, sharing and analysing the data.  Multi-layer maps of fields, annotations and actual pictures (RGB, NIR, NDVI and NDRE [Red Edge]), all stored in the cloud and sharable with anyone.

Responding:  after analysis comes action.  FieldAgent creates SHP files that are compatible with most of the world agricultural equipment manufacturer’s systems, enabling you to convert your observations and decisions into machinery in the field.  Over or under fertilizing?  Over or under irrigating?  Are there any diseases creeping across the crop?  You can target the area precisely.

What do I have to do?

There are two ways you can go:  firstly, we can fly the surveys for you.  We have call out pilots around the country and at short notice (usually) we can have someone flying your field.  We’ll process the data and get it back to you within a day or two.

Alternatively, you can buy a drone and sensor and do it yourself.  It’s easy to do and we will train you.

Whether doing it yourself or using our operators, you need to think about how you’ll manage all this data.  As mentioned above, FieldAgent is a beautiful data storage and management system, allowing you to share maps and outputs with anyone over the web.  It also comes with analytical tools for the surveys and you can create prescriptions for precision agriculture.   Easy to use and it’s really, really affordable.

We’ve done the hard work so you don’t have to!

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!

Click here to find out more about the latest Sentera Sensors available