TechTour: More Than Photos — The Many Applications of the UAV

Altura ATX8 | Photo by State Farm UAS

Pretty field pictures and awesome harvest videos aside, drones, or UAVs, are proving their worth on the farm through field scouting and development of management zones for precision farming applications.

But there are many that see drones as an overblown camera or a fun toy, not fully recognizing the present usefulness and future potential of the technology.

In this latest episode of the TechTour video series, Kelvin Heppner, field editor with RealAgriculture, speaks with Manitoba grain farmer Landon Friesen about the many uses for UAVs beyond field imagery and scouting.

“It’s kind of like when auto steer came out,” says Friesen, of the hype and then wide-scale adoption of new technology. “Now, I can’t imagine our kids will drive a tractor without it.”

From surveying and yard site planning, to grain and silage pile estimation, Friesen explains that the software that analyses drone imagery can be used for several other applications now. In the future, productivity is certain to only keep climbing, as Friesen sees a use for checking hot spots in bins, weed detection and identification, and, yes, even for unmanned spray applications.

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