1. Crop Damage Reports
Lurking just beneath the surface of every growing season is this stark reality: at the end of the day, mother nature rules the field. One major weather event, or an unseasonably rainy year, can decimate a crop and leave you with considerable losses to bear. Aerial imagery helps farmers quantify the damage quickly so that action can be taken to mitigate the loss.
In situations of extreme crop loss, it’s often time to call a crop insurance adjuster. But adjusters only have time to walk small sections of a damaged field, so gaining an accurate picture of the loss can be difficult.
2. Stand Count
Drone maps, combined with powerful analysis tools, replace traditional scouting methods by delivering you a comprehensive set of aerial data on your entire field. No more guess work or extrapolating. In a matter of hours, you can get an accurate classification of the problem and use it to make the most informed decision about a course of action.
That sick feeling in the pit of your stomach when one of your crops doesn’t emerge as expected? For many growers, there’s nothing worse. Except maybe the feeling you get from having to make, at best, an educated guess about the right course of corrective action. And let’s face it, that’s all ground scouting is: an educated guess. It’s useful to a point, but it’s an imperfect science with a high margin of error.
3. Plant Health Analysis
One of the best things about drones is that they allow you to analyze issues in real time, as they happen. But those same drone maps can also enable you to make long-term decisions and engage in advanced crop management.
In the world of agriculture, timing is everything. Diseases and invasive species spread fast, but in the days—and in some cases, weeks— it takes to schedule and process imagery taken from a manned aircraft or satellite, what began as a small problem can spread to something much larger.
Drones, on the other hand, give you a high-resolution map of your field in a matter of minutes. No more guess work or costly waiting periods. Just actionable data on plant health and crop stress in real time.