Saturday, March 28, 2020

Drone technology revolutionises crop walking

February 28, 2020 by  
Filed under Machinery

New easy-to-use drone technology to help farmers monitor crops more efficiently will be available from next month.

Skippy Scout is a crop monitoring app that uses drones to automatically capture images which are then analysed by artificial intelligence to offer arable farmers vital broad acre crop insight, say creators Drone Ag.

The phone-based app uses GPS and mapping software to fly a drone to points in a field selected by the farmer. Images taken by the drone are interpreted by the app to provide an accurate green area index (GAI) and count emerging plants.

The quality of image collected can also identify weeds and is accurate enough to capture insect damage on a single leaf, explained Drone Ag founder Jack Wrangham, who has spent the last 18 months developing the software with 200 triallists.

Skippy Scout offers every farmer the chance to see and evaluate crops easily and efficiently using just a phone and a drone,” says Mr Wrangham.

Skippy Scout is a phone-based application that connects to a drone. The farmer chooses points using maps of their farm that are stored in the phone app. The drone then flies to the selection taking images at each point.

The images are fed back to the phone for analysis and AI in the app interprets the images to offer the operator information and advice. Each set of results is recorded to allow for future comparisons to be made year on year.

Mr Wrangham says drones have become a vital tool for farmers and agronomists.

“Adapting farming methods to make use of technology like Skippy is crucial if agriculture is going to provide for the world’s ever-growing population. We have involved hundreds of farmers as trialists and many more are waiting to use Skippy in 2020.”

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