New drone service to capture agronomic images at sub millimetre level

With precision agriculture becoming less of an idea and more of a reality for farmers, one Canadian company has jumped on board with drone technology to help farmers when they scout.

Melissa Silvernagle, precision agronomy technical lead with AgraCity Crop and Nutrition says she was amazed by the way scouting is changing with the integration of technology.

“We’re partnered with a company called Taranis out of Israel that has some brand new (and) exciting drone technology that has some artificial intelligence to identify what’s going on in our fields,” she says.

The drone flies roughly 40 to 50 feet in the air, and Silvernagle says with the technology they use, the camera resolution can get down to the sub-millimetre level when scouting which makes it possible to count the spots on a lady beetle.

“We can see flea beetles in canola and actually see if it’s a crucifer or a striped flea beetle, we can get right down and right into the details,” she says. “It flies at about 45 kilometres an hour and it’s taking one to one and a half images every acre.” (story continues below player)

As drone scouting technology is fairly new to Canada, right now Silvernagle says the company has been running trials along with obtaining data over the past few months and going forward until next year. In the past couple of years, images have mainly been collected in the U.S. and Israel, so images from Canada are needed to help with the scouting process.

She says their goal is to offer the digital agronomy service starting next year.

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