Imagery in agriculture and land management has come a very long way over the past decade. Drones complement satellite imagery by being less sensitive to cloud cover and can provide much higher resolution images for detailed analysis. The AI engines using these images are improving rapidly such that plant diseases, insect infestations and nutrient deficiencies can be detected from the detailed images.
Normal Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) is probably the most prevailing technology to identify plant health through images. The NDVI data can be used to build a flight path for detailed imagery of areas that indicate problems. The final step of the process is to walk the paddock and do a detailed analysis of the plants, possibly collecting leaf and soil samples for analysis and development of a treatment plan.
Under “Useful Links” there is a link to a YouTube video that Oasis-Agri produced from drone images we captured of the “once in a hundred year flood” at Roxby Downs Station South Australia.
Drones are very good for precision spraying of herbicides, pesticides and foliar applications of nutrients.
The advantages of drones include:
- No cost of the flight time on the airframe to get to the spray site