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The 7 Best Agricultural Drones on the Market Today - DRONELIFE

The 7 Best Agricultural Drones on the Market Today - DRONELIFE | Drone in Agriculture | Scoop.it

It’s no secret drones are becoming increasingly popular on America’s farms. As demand for drone data rises, so too do the number of companies that can provide it. Despite the FAA’s supposed restriction on the use of agricultural drones, the space is attracting more dollars and getting more crowded every day.

If you are looking to fly on the farm, it is important to identify exactly what your goal is before you buy so you can find the platform that best aligns with your needs. After all, these drones require a significant investment of both time and money.

To help get you started, here are some of the companies that have emerged as key players in the space and provide some of the most comprehensive aerial agricultural solutions on the market.

AgDrone:

Oregon-based HoneyComb provides an all-in-one hardware/software/data storage solution with their AgDrone. The drone itself can be outfitted with an array of sensors including thermal imaging, stereoscopic and multispectral NDVI (Normalized Difference Vegetation Index).  All data collected by the AgDrone is stored on the HoneyComb servers and can be accessed from any computer but the package includes a tablet that puts control and data acquisition literally at your finger tips.

Autonomous flights can be plotted and saved right on the tablet. There is no need for any extra hardware.

 AgDrone UAS by HoneyCombBattery Life: 31-60 MinutesCamera: 1080p HDPRODUCT INFORMATION$14,995PURCHASE INFO  eBee Ag:

senseFly’s eBee Ag drone is a version of its popular eBee platform custom-fit to fly down on the farm. The drone comes standard with an infrared camera, but optional add ons can give users the capability to create 3D thermal maps of a field.

senseFly’s eMotion flight planning and control software (for PCs and Windows tablets) allows users to plan and simulate a flight before takeoff and then monitor the flight or make edits to the route while the drone is in the air. eMotion is also compatible with Google Earth.

 eBee Ag by SenseFlyBattery Life: 31-60 MinutesCamera: 1080p HDPRODUCT INFORMATION$25,000PURCHASE INFO  Lancaster:

PrecisionHawk’s Lancaster is a soup-to-nuts solution constructed with first time flyers in mind. The purchase of a Lancaster includes a free 30 minute online class, but PrecisionHawk offers options for hands on training at one of their sites or they can come to you.

The sensor package includes LIDAR and Hyperspectral imaging along with the standard thermal/visual/multispectral and it can be spec-ed out depending on your needs. PrecisionHawk also touts the Lancaster’s ‘brain’ – a basic artificial intelligence that detects weather conditions to create its own optimal flight path in real time and assess data from the sensors as it is collected, eliminating the need for a second flight.

Case Study

 Lancaster Hawkeye Mark III by Precision HawkBattery Life: 31-60 MinutesCamera: 1080p HDPRODUCT INFORMATION$25,000PURCHASE INFO  Crop Mapper:

Based in Toulouse, France, Delair-Tech offers industry-specific packages that can be outfitted to either of their DT-18 or DT-26 UAVs. Included with the purchase of either drone is a five day training program.

The Crop Mapper package is best suited for projects that cover a large area. The package comes standard with Delair’s Solapp flight control software and Pix4D‘s Mapper imaging processing software.

Case Study

 DT-18 by Delair-TechBattery Life: Greater than 60 MinutesCamera: 1080p HDPRODUCT INFORMATION$37,700PURCHASE INFO  AG550:

Longtime UAS distributor Aerial Technology International recently jumped into the world of agriculture and began selling custom multi-rotor drones that can be configured with all the standard cameras and sensors. While multi-rotor drones don’t have the same extensive battery life as a fixed-wing model, they are much more agile and can be flown very close to the ground (they also tend to be much cheaper).

Plus, ATI offers a free consultation with each inquiry they receive so you can be sure your drone is optimized for your needs.

 AG550 by Aerial Technology InternationalBattery Life: Under 30 MinutesCamera: 1080p HDPRODUCT INFORMATION$3,000PURCHASE INFO  Quad Indago:

Another multi-rotor solution on the market is Farm Intelligence2‘s Quad Indago. This collapsable drone sports Lockheed Martin Procerus Technologies’ Kestrel 3 autopilot and a powerful ground station laptop to support it. The system also comes standard with FI2’s Dual Band Sensor with near infrared and ultra-HD RGB capabilities.

The price tag on the Indago might be a little scary but it’s certainly one of the most advanced quadcopters money can buy.

 Quad Indago by FI2 Sales and LeasingBattery Life: 31-60 MinutesCamera: 1080p HDPRODUCT INFORMATION$25,000PURCHASE INFO  AgEagle:

The nature of farm equipment is that it takes a serious beating over time. In anticipation of this issue, the AgEagle is outfitted with a composite shell of fiberglass and carbon fiber cloth in addition to a poly carbonate skid plate. It’s an aerial tank that can fly in winds up to 20 miles an hour.

The complete AgEagle package comes standard with the aircraft, launcher, camera, software and appropriate training.

 AgEagle by AgEagleBattery Life: 31-60 MinutesCamera: 1080p HDPRODUCT INFORMATION$13,500PURCHASE INFO  

For more companies that offer agricultural UAV solutions checkout the Dronelife Product Configurator.


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Cheap Drones Give Farmers a New Way to Improve Crop Yields | MIT Technology Review

Cheap Drones Give Farmers a New Way to Improve Crop Yields | MIT Technology Review | Drone in Agriculture | Scoop.it

Relatively cheap drones with advanced sensors and imaging capabilities are giving farmers new ways to increase yields and reduce crop damage.

 

Drones can provide farmers with three types of detailed views. First, seeing a crop from the air can reveal patterns that expose everything from irrigation problems to soil variation and even pest and fungal infestations that aren’t apparent at eye level. Second, airborne cameras can take multispectral images, capturing data from the infrared as well as the visual spectrum, which can be combined to create a view of the crop that highlights differences between healthy and distressed plants in a way that can’t be seen with the naked eye. Finally, a drone can survey a crop every week, every day, or even every hour. Combined to create a time-series animation, that imagery can show changes in the crop, revealing trouble spots or opportunities for better crop management.


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Vivalist's curator insight, December 4, 2015 6:30 AM

Data-driven agriculture using tech to pilot crop growing and farm management.

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Drone detects wheat disease progression

Charlie Rush, Ph.D., hopes to use a unique method – helicopter drone – to track disease progression across wheat fields to eventually help producers make better irrigation decisions.

Rush, a Texas A&M AgriLife Research plant pathologist in Amarillo, has enlisted the help of Ian Johnson, a Montana State University-Bozeman graduate student who is using his work in the university’s Science and Natural History Filmmaking Program to help scientists conduct research.Approximately 1.1 million acres of wheat in the High Plains are irrigated, Rush said, making wheat the second-largest user of irrigation water from the Ogallala Aquifer. In this same region, mite-vectored virus diseases are the predominant pathogenic constraint to sustainable wheat production each year.The viruses causing these diseases are transmitted by the wheat curl mite, he said. Infected wheat plants not only have reduced grain and forage yields, but also greatly reduced root weight and water-use efficiency. Therefore, fertilizer and groundwater applied as irrigation to diseased wheat is largely wasted.Rush’s team is using the helicopter to take remote images of a field study where they are trying to develop an economic threshold for irrigation of wheat infected with wheat streak and other mite-vectored diseases.“The problem for farmers is that these diseases develop in gradients over time and they don’t know whether or not they should apply new pesticides or fertilizers or water,” he said. “Most of these practices are done in April, and that is when the disease is just starting to show up. They may know they have disease in the field, but they really don’t know how much damage it might cause.“So what we are trying to do is be able to go in early in the season and look at the disease development at a particular time and then based on what it looks like, say in early April, be able to give them a prediction of what the crop will be at harvest time.”To do that, Rush said his team has been going into the field using different types of remote imaging, such as the hand-held hyperspectral radiometer, to measure and quantify the severity of disease development in the field. wedge image can be made after the helicopter has made about six passes over the field. The images it captures were stitched together by Ian Johnson, a Montana State University-Bozeman graduate student, for a complete picture.
“Now the application and use of this helicopter drone is one more way of measuring the disease development,” he said. “The beautiful thing about this is instead of having to deal with handheld devices, you can come in and fly the entire field in a matter of five minutes and get a very, very high resolution. So we are excited about the possibilities this may provide for our project.”Johnson said he will use the drone to make four or five flights during the growing season and then generate results that will help Rush. This Y6 helicopter, named for its Y shape and six propellers, is made by 3D Robotics and includes an autopilot.“That allows us to preprogram flights and fly a grid. As it is flying the grid, it takes top-down photos,” Johnson said. “Once we collect the photos, we stitch them together and build a giant photo mosaic of each field we flew over. We are hoping to provide incremental photo coverage of the fields as the disease progresses through the fields.”Johnson said using this technology for agricultural research provides a whole list of improvements to the previous services available. Many researchers have used satellite imagery before, but this provides resolution 100 to 1,000 times greater than the LandSat satellite imagery Rush and his team used in the past.“That’s a huge improvement when you are looking at ground-coverage and trying to pick out diseased plants,” he said. “Another improvement is temporal resolution. We can fly this every day for a couple of weeks or every week for a whole season, whereas with satellite you have to wait two to three weeks for a pass and that is if you can get your slot. So this is a great improvement.”Another thing, Johnson said, is the drone is currently using visible spectrum only – still photographs – because the project is focused on the yellow band of light, which easily captures the typical symptoms of wheat streak mosaic.“But this is a modular system,” he said. “We could put near infrared, thermal, any array of multi-spectral sensors on here to capture whatever data it is the project demands.”Rush said one of the things he is most excited about with this new technology is that although aerial images have been taken before and unmanned aircraft have been used to measure things, “they have never been used to our knowledge to manage irrigation applications, especially in diseased crops.“This is something that is totally new,” he said. “Obviously, in the Texas Panhandle where water is such a precious resource, anything that we can do to reduce waste or farmers putting on irrigation water when it is not going to pay off for them is going to be a positive thing.”
Rush said he is confident that with the studies currently underway, this new technology will allow them to very quickly provide growers with the information they need to better manage their irrigation.
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US: Scientist uses helicopter drone to detect wheat-disease progression

US: Scientist uses helicopter drone to detect wheat-disease progression | Drone in Agriculture | Scoop.it

AMARILLO, Texas — Charlie Rush hopes to use a helicopter drone to track disease across wheat fields, to eventually help producers make better irrigation decisions.

Rush, a Texas A&M AgriLife Research plant pathologist, is being helped by Ian Johnson, a Montana State University-Bozeman graduate student who is using his work in the university’s Science and Natural History Filmmaking Program to help scientists conduct research.

Approximately 1.1 million acres of wheat in the High Plains are irrigated, Rush said, making wheat the second-largest user of irrigation water from the Ogallala Aquifer. In this same region, mite-vectored virus diseases are the predominant pathogenic constraint to sustainable wheat production each year.

The viruses causing these diseases are transmitted by the wheat curl mite, he said. Infected wheat plants have reduced grain and forage yields, and greatly reduced root weight and water-use efficiency. Therefore, fertilizer and groundwater applied as irrigation to diseased wheat is largely wasted.

The helicopter takes remote images of a field study where they are trying to develop an economic threshold for irrigation of wheat infected with wheat streak and other mite-vectored diseases.

“The problem for farmers is that these diseases develop in gradients over time and they don’t know whether or not they should apply new pesticides or fertilizers or water,” he said in a news release. “Most of these practices are done in April, and that is when the disease is just starting to show up. They may know they have disease in the field, but they don’t know how much damage it might cause.

“So, what we are trying to do is be able to go in early in the season and look at the disease development at a particular time and then based on what it looks like, say in early April, be able to give them a prediction of what the crop will be at harvest time.”...

 

 


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Rob Dawson's comment, January 13, 2014 3:42 AM
Rothamstead in the UK is using them too: http://www.bbsrc.ac.uk/news/food-security/2013/131202-pr-octocopter-to-monitor-crops.aspx
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2016 best precision agriculture drone with high capacity for crop spraying

2016 best precision agriculture drone with high capacity for crop spraying | Drone in Agriculture | Scoop.it
In South Korea, China, Chile, Australia and many other countries, as a result of urbanization, the number of people interested in agriculture keep
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All you want to know about drones and farming in Ireland

All you want to know about drones and farming in Ireland | Drone in Agriculture | Scoop.it
We look at some of the questions frequently asked about drone use in agriculture and provide some straight answers.
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New Crop Insurance Scheme (NCIS) India recommends use of drones to assess crop damage

A new agriculture insurance scheme for farmers in India. Will see drones being deployed to access crop damage figures. The scheme to be known as New Crop Ins...

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2016 best precision agriculture drone from top agricultural drone manufacturers, MMC

In South Korea, China, Chile, Australia and many other countries, as a result of urbanization, the number of people interested in agriculture keeps decreasing. …

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Why 2015 is the year agriculture drones take off

Why 2015 is the year agriculture drones take off | Drone in Agriculture | Scoop.it
U.S. drones are expected to change how we cultivate and grow food across the country.

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Daniel Lindahl's curator insight, May 25, 2015 1:14 PM

Drones are becoming more and more prevalent not only in the US, but all over the world. It seems that 2015 will be the year that drones become commonplace in agriculture, which will further revolutionize the way crops are grown. 

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How drones lift agriculture in Bulgaria to a higher plane - FT.com

How drones lift agriculture in Bulgaria to a higher plane - FT.com | Drone in Agriculture | Scoop.it
Stefan Dimitrov, a farmer in Bulgaria’s central Rose Valley, has some unusual guardians to protect his 1,500 hectares of land from criminals, wild animals and crop failure: they fly at 60 kilometres per hour and run on rechargeable batteries. Mr

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Why is Smart Farming Asia's big new trend? | GovInsider ("agri can't stagnate in a changing world")

Why is Smart Farming Asia's big new trend? | GovInsider ("agri can't stagnate in a changing world") | Drone in Agriculture | Scoop.it

Asian governments are investing massively in this... field.

GovInsider has gathered the cutting-edge and, yes, the cool, to highlight how countries in the region are ploughing ahead in this once old-fashioned sector.

1. Australia

Robots in Australia are milking cows. In Camden, south-west of Australia, the FutureDairy prototype can milk up to 90 cows an hour.

2. Japan

Japan is looking at robots to automate crop farms and pick fruits. 

3. Malaysia

Malaysia is leveraging sensor and data in farms, and aims to increase farming productivity by 20% in the next five years.

4. Philippines

Philippines has teamed up with the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) to use drones to scope out where agricultural land is most vulnerable to natural disasters. The government will use this to better prepare for disasters and adapt agricultural plans accordingly.

5. South Korea

Sejong City is encouraging startups to develop smart farming solutions, in a joint collaboration between the ICT ministry and SK group, a large conglomerate in the country.

6. Thailand

Thailand is piloting the use of big data analytics in farming. “The Ministry of Agriculture wants data to help them provide solutions to farmers,” Sak Segkhoonthod, Chief Executive of Thailand’s E-Government Agency told GovInsider. The ministry can then advice farmers on what types of crops to harvest to ensure the stability of food prices.



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Bert Guevara's curator insight, September 9, 10:03 PM
Aside from the hi-tech gadgets, smart farming has to do with changing the rules on the weather due to climate change.

"Countries in the region are boosting their farming manpower with robots, drones and sensors; it’s widespread, and getting increasingly popular in the industry. It’s healthier to think of them as helpers, rather than threats to manual jobs – after all, they work so we can reap the fruits of their labour."
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AgEagle's Tom Nichol Discusses Development of Drones for Ag - AgFunderNews

AgEagle's Tom Nichol Discusses Development of Drones for Ag - AgFunderNews | Drone in Agriculture | Scoop.it
AgEagle was one of the first drones companies in the agriculture sector. It's also the second most popular drone manufacturer for clients of software company DroneDeploy.
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Precision Agriculture, farming, crop management UAV Drone Systems, Sydney, Australia

Precision Agriculture, farming, crop management UAV Drone Systems, Sydney, Australia | Drone in Agriculture | Scoop.it
Buy your professional precision agriculture, farming and crop management uav drone system with multispectral nvdi sensor from the UAV experts, with local support and local stock in Sydney, Australia.
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Unused TV spectrum and drones could help make smart farms a reality

Unused TV spectrum and drones could help make smart farms a reality | Drone in Agriculture | Scoop.it
ON THE Dancing Crow farm in Washington, sunflowers and squashes soak up the rich autumn sunshine beside a row of solar panels. This bucolic smallholding provides organic vegetables to the farmers' markets of Seattle. But it is also home to an experiment by Microsoft, a big computing firm, that it hopes will transform agriculture further afield. For the past year, the firm's engineers have been developing a suite of technologies there to slash the cost of "precision agriculture", which aims to use sensors and clever algorithms to deliver water, fertilisers and pesticides only to crops that actually need them.

Precision agriculture is one of the technologies that could help to feed a world whose population is forecast to hit almost 10 billion by 2050. If farmers can irrigate only when necessary, and avoid excessive pesticide use, they should be able to save money and boost their output.

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Farm2050: Silicon Valley's Attempt At Cashing In On The New Farming Revolution

Farm2050: Silicon Valley's Attempt At Cashing In On The New Farming Revolution | Drone in Agriculture | Scoop.it

Can organic farming feed the world? Possibly, but it depends on who you ask. Even if it can and ultimately does, the future of farming won't look much like the industry did a decade years ago. Data science and all the technologies that go along with it—sensors, computers, and so on—are making it possible for farmers to grow crops more efficiently, and Silicon Valley is intrigued with the monetary possibilities.


In November, Flextronics’ Lab IX and Innovation Endeavors, a VC fund backed by former Google CEO Eric Schmidt, announced the creation of Farm2050, an initiative that will offer funding and support to startups that want to cash in on the new farming revolution. But can Silicon Valley really transform farms from afar?

How can robotics and automation make farming much efficient?

"We're looking for startups that apply tech to make impact in new market—how can robotics and automation make farming much efficient, how can we use data sciences to make the farm more efficient?" says Dror Berman, managing partner at Innovation Endeavors. "We’ve been already seeing a lot of new companies in the space." Even Monsanto—not a partner in Farm2050—is getting in on the trend, acquiring weather data startup The Climate Corporation in 2013.

A recent New York Times article on data science in farming offers some insight into the kinds of technologies that Farm2050 might invest in. One example:

At a large family farm in the Rio Grande Valley in Texas, Brian Braswell uses satellite-connected tractors to plow fields with accuracy of one inch between furrows. His soil was tested with electrical charges, then mapped so that fertilizer is applied in exact doses from computer-controlled machines. He uses drones, the newest new thing, to survey flood irrigation.

Farm2050's big challenge is that, chances are, most of the startups applying for help from the initiative are divorced from the day-to-day realities of farming. Berman is hopeful that Farm2050's partners, including DuPont and Flextronics (which can provide manufacturing assistance) will help them figure out the innovations that farmers want.

So far, data technologies have been available mainly to large farms that can afford their high prices. Hopefully, Farm2050 will look at startups that can make sensor and robotics systems more accessible to small-time operations—though Berman says that it is, of course, looking for "highly scalable" technologies.

Farm2050 will look at applications from startups over the next few months.


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DJI's agriculture drone takes to the air down on the farm

DJI's agriculture drone takes to the air down on the farm | Drone in Agriculture | Scoop.it
Drones are starting to emerge as highly suitable tools for farming. This is of course not lost on the world's biggest drone maker DJI, who has just a launched a machine for farmers that can be programmed to cover acres of farmland in pesticides every hour.

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Could drones launch an aerial revolution in crop spraying?

Could drones launch an aerial revolution in crop spraying? | Drone in Agriculture | Scoop.it

A Norfolk firm has secured the exclusive UK rights for a crop-spraying drone – an innovation which the company’s founder hopes could be the first step in an aerial agricultural revolution.


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Agriculture Drone Buyer's Guide - Best Drone for the Job

Agriculture Drone Buyer's Guide - Best Drone for the Job | Drone in Agriculture | Scoop.it
Agriculture Drone Buyer’s Guide http://t.co/WS2I22X40s http://t.co/SlIrX10Fzy

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Agriculture Case Study: Using drones and GIS Cloud for precision farming in Greece | GIS Cloud

Agriculture Case Study: Using drones and GIS Cloud for precision farming in Greece | GIS Cloud | Drone in Agriculture | Scoop.it
We did an interview with NubiGroup, company that creates a new generation of services and products, exploiting the geospatial information and cloud computing.

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How do you plant 1 billion trees a year? With drones, of course

How do you plant 1 billion trees a year? With drones, of course | Drone in Agriculture | Scoop.it

Instead of doing surveillance or carrying out military missions, the drones from BioCarbon Engineering are taking on a decidedly more progressive task: planting trees and reversing deforestation.


Drones, or unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), have taken off in popularity recently, with hobbyists and professionals alike using these small remotely-guided devices for everything from delivering packages to surveying wildlife populations, but one startup has a very ambitious plan for their drones, and one that could have a huge positive impact on global deforestation.


"We are going to counter industrial scale deforestation using industrial scale reforestation. Destruction of global forests from lumber, mining, agriculture, and urban expansion destroys 26 billion trees each year. We believe that this industrial scale deforestation is best combated using the latest automation technologies." - BioCarbon Engineering


BioCarbon Engineering, based in the UK, has developed a system of planting trees with drones, at just a fraction of the cost (15%) of traditional reforestation methods, and at a speed that manual planting can't match - up to 10s of thousands of trees planted per day - and aims to plant 1 billion trees per year using this technology.


This approach, using an industrial-scale reforestation method, isn't quite ready for prime-time, but its prototype, which won £20k in funding from the Skoll Centre for Social Entrepreneurship last year, is expected to be built into a fully functioning platform by the end of the year.



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Drones or unmanned aerial systems for use in commercial agriculture

Drones or unmanned aerial systems for use in commercial agriculture | Drone in Agriculture | Scoop.it
Horticulture and agronomic crop growers can learn the latest on drones or unmanned aerial systems from a series of eXtension webinars.

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Drones in Agriculture: Hype or Reality — Medium

Drones in Agriculture: Hype or Reality — Medium | Drone in Agriculture | Scoop.it
Unquestionably, #drone is one of the biggest tech buzzwords at the moment. Suffice it to recall recent Y Combinator’s applications “most…

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Six Ways Drones are Revolutionizing Agriculture

Six Ways Drones are Revolutionizing Agriculture | Drone in Agriculture | Scoop.it
Drones aren’t new technology by any means. Now, however, thanks to robust investments and a somewhat more relaxed regulatory environment, it appears their time has arrived—especially in agriculture.

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Remote sensing reawakens - Drones at Work

Remote sensing reawakens - Drones at Work | Drone in Agriculture | Scoop.it
[Editor’s Note: Mike Martinez, marketing director for Trimble Agriculture, shared that service providers are using drones as a tool for crop scouting.] This post originally appeared on http://farmindustrynews.com/precision-farming/remote-sensing-reawakens. For decades, scientists have known that there are ways to measure plant health through the use of multispectral photography. The idea that a plant can tell you something in …

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All you want to know about drones and farming in Ireland

All you want to know about drones and farming in Ireland | Drone in Agriculture | Scoop.it
We look at some of the questions frequently asked about drone use in agriculture and provide some straight answers.
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