Use of drones in agriculture
Advanced crop scouting in less time
Agricultural drones provide growers, service providers, and ag researchers a fast and efficient way to scout their crops, identify stress, create treatment plans, track plant growth, and much more.
Using high-resolution RGB cameras and professional multispectral sensors, drones like the WingtraOne can detect and quantify crop health problems early on. These valuable insights can reduce input costs and boost yield.
Images: courtesy of MicaSense
This comprehensive ebook explains how the use of drones in agriculture allows farmers and researchers to conduct advanced scouting in less time. It also features examples of maps produced by drones and explains how they guide crop management.
Benefits of drones and sensors in agriculture
Scout your fields in less time
Drones provide an immediate snapshot of a field in a fraction of the time it would take to scout on foot. Cover hundreds of hectares in a single flight, capturing data that helps detect and identify variability and areas of crop stress.
Capture precise data that drives decisions and actions
Use drone data to generate prescription maps and plans, focusing treatments more efficiently and reducing costs. Gain insights that complement other agronomic tools. E.g., for soil / leaf sampling, instead of randomized sampling, drone data can direct you to the best places to sample, saving time and money.
Efficiently track crops over time, for research or production
Track how crops are progressing from emergence through harvest. Accurately monitor fields for phenotyping and other research applications. Periodic capture of calibrated data from professional multispectral sensors offers insights into crop health regardless of illumination changes, giving you the needed data to derive quantitative trends.
Applications of drones and sensors in agriculture
A quality drone and multispectral camera system can detect disease and stress early (sometimes before it is visible from the ground or with standard color cameras). Use this information, coupled with proven agronomic methods, to focus your treatment plans.
Prescription maps and treatment plans
Multispectral data is a key tool that, when combined with other established agronomic methods, enables prescription maps for treatments (fertilizer, herbicide), reducing costs and improving efficiency.
Quickly and effectively measure and track performance in small test plots. Calibrated data that accounts for changing lighting conditions allows you to track trends over time.
Plant counting and crop emergence
High resolution cameras on drones, and plant-counting algorithms can accurately and efficiently provide inventory information, track crop emergence, drive replanting decisions and help predict yield.
RGB color orthomosaic
A color orthomosaic map is often the first step in scouting. Interpretation is intuitive and can be used to easily detect gaps in the crop and find areas of visible stress while visualizing maturity and growth stages.
Vegetation index maps
Vegetation indices such as normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI), normalized difference red edge (NDRE), chlorophyll-based indices (“chlorophyll map”), and other indices (SAVI, OSAVI, etc.) can be used to detect and quantify variability in the field.
Digital surface model (DSM)
Digital surface models (DSMs) are digital representations of the elevation of the field and crop. They can be used for irrigation planning, water flow analysis, and crop optimization based on slope direction.
False-color band combinations
Multispectral data can also be visualized as combinations of three bands, assigning a band to the red, green, and blue colors. This visualization maintains texture and context and reveals hidden patterns, such as the presence of weeds or water-logged soil.
Best drone for agriculture
How does WingtraOne benefit agricultural applications
Large fields, difficult or steep terrain, or lack of smooth surfaces required for take-off and landing: the WingtraOne mapping drone can overcome all these challenges when assessing mid- and large-scale projects while carrying (and protecting) high-quality cameras.