I can understand the hard work and time that goes into being a farmer. That is why it is so important to be as efficient as possible, while at the same time providing high-quality yields. Technology has greatly improved in the past few years and along with it has come precision agriculture aerial imaging technology.
Benefits of Mapping your Fields
- Map images can identify problem areas of your fields as they occur, allowing you to make changes right away.
- It can be more efficient since typically farmers use the same amount of fertilizer and water on the entire field and not all of the land might require that amount, creating waste. With field mapping, you can calculate precisely how much each acre requires which will lower waste and expenses. The same can be said for chemicals being sprayed; this is a prime example of precision agriculture.
- You receive an instant mapping of your fields, compared to when we used to have to walk the fields to get an understanding of what is actually happening.
There are lots of other ways technology is changing the way we farm and if you are a farmer it might be helpful to learn more about how you can implement these technologies to be more efficient.
Drone vs. Satellite
The main two options for aerial imaging is to use a low flying aircraft, such as a drone, or to use a satellite. Typically, the higher the resolution of the images, the more expensive it will be. It is best to understand your needs first before deciding whether to invest in a drone or satellite. For example, satellite imagery does not provide high-resolution images but if you are needing weekly reports, satellites might be the way to go to save money. Another thing to consider for satellites is if it is a cloudy day, you will not be able to get a clear image.
Current drones on the market provide more than the typical image and can produce near-infrared (NIR) and normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI). These wavelengths allow farmers to see how dense their crops are to determine if they are healthy or not. This technology is the reason drones are more expensive, but they provide high-quality information.
Another thing to remember is aerial imaging is not just for crop farmers but can be beneficial to those who have livestock and orchards. Livestock farmers can benefit from drones by not needing as many people to keep an eye on their cattle, saving them money. Heat-detecting technology in some drones can be beneficial in finding lost cattle and some drones have technology that identifies sick or injured cattle. Knowing what is happening and when it is happening on your farm, crop or livestock is what is important and make a difference down the road.
Now that you know the benefits of using aerial imaging for your farm, make sure to do your research in determining what will help you the most to be successful!
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