Why it’s Time to Invest in Drone Data for your Farm

Western Cape, South Africa
Individual Tree Health, Canopy Volume and Height

Farmers have always had high expectations for drones. The early days of drone technology left much to be desired in both the hardware and software arenas. Fast-forward to 2019 and much has changed, the prices of hardware have come down and software processing and outputs have improved markedly.

Multiple drone flight paths over an apple farm in the Western Cape.Today’s drones and software – powered by cloud computing and advanced analytics – bring real value to your farm. Drones have begun to rapidly change the way in which farmers gather information about their crops and it is ultimately changing the way in which the farm is managed. The detailed drone crop analytics at unparalleled resolutions is opening up new insights, which is certainly giving farmers that make use of drone data a competitive advantage in the market.

Early pest and disease detection are easily identified by drone imagery giving the farmer sufficient warning to turn around problem areas before they impact significantly on yields. Being able to precisely manage and target individual trees within the orchard is the epitome of precision agriculture. The farmer realizes immediate savings by applying variable rate prescription of pesticides and fertilizers to problem or underperforming areas, instead of covering the entire field.

Appletree crop health data captured on the 27/10/2018                         Appletree crop health data captured on the 01/12/2018

The crop health maps displayed above were captured on two successive drone surveys a month apart. The image captured on the 27th October has a noticeable band of apple trees under stress (light yellow circles). In the follow-up survey on the 1st of December, it is clearly visible that all the trees under stress are now healthy. The drone multispectral imagery is providing a direct measure of crop health by measuring the relative amount of chlorophyll present in the leaves. By observing the drone data the farmer was immediately able to address this problem area.

Integrated Aerial Systems (IAS), a professional drone survey company have developed and refined their drone data capture techniques over thousands upon thousands of hectares flown making them one of the world leaders in collecting high resolution (2-4 cm/ px) visual (RGB) and multispectral imagery for various crops. Based in Cape Town, South Africa IAS have worked closely with Aerobotics who are leaders in the drone AgriTech space providing the software which process and analyze drone data.  IAS is a professional, fully licensed and trusted drone service provider. For more information contact us at info@iasystems.co.zaabout getting drone data for your farm now.

Tree canaopy volume