It continues to amaze me how fast and rapid technology is coming to agriculture to help farmers improve decision making. Since the advent of GPS the possibilities are continually proving to be endless and……very cool. With the ability to take vegetative index readings and then make decisions within 24 hours is truly interesting.
What really intrigues me is where we go from here with this kind of technology.
As I mention in the video below, this is kind of like crop espionage with potentially huge benefits for your farm. What I thought was really interesting is that the plane that is in the picture flies itself back and forth over the field taking the readings. Once the plane lands (or crashes) results are to the farmer within 24 hours. This allows the farmer to make fungicide or insecticide decisions just in time and with some data to confirm decisions. Because GPS is a key part of this process, farmers can elect to use variable rate fungicide application based on levels of infection discovered throughout the field. Now I have no idea if variable rate fungicide works but this is the kind of technology people will continue to improve on and make even more effective in the future. If you think about it variable rate fertilization or fungicide application will continue to improve just like the computer, cell phone, and GPS guidance have.
At Canada’s Outdoor Farm Show I talked to Daryl Patterson from A&L Laboratories about how the RC planes work and how it allows farmers to make better decisions in-crop. In this video there is a great demonstration of how this technology works and what we can do with it.
If you cannot see the below embedded video, click here