Almond Matters: Value and Quality of Drone Monitoring Continues to Increase
In today’s Almond Matters, brought to you by Valent, drone monitoring has become more accessible and affordable over the past few years while also becoming more involved and precise. Whether employing a drone service or purchasing a drone for continued use on a farming operation, drones have established themselves as a useful tool.
“I’ve sold a lot of just your average consumer photography type drones to growers who want to just monitor how their farms look today. Whether they’re taking a flyby video, or they’re getting into the basics of like color mapping,” said Owner of All Drone Solutions Mark Hull. “I consider that a simple but yet probably underused method, for at least drone service.”
Drone monitoring can help reduce the time required to inspect orchards and provide a digital record that can prove beneficial in a number of different areas. “The historical data I think, even with just pictures and video can become useful when trying to make decisions,” Hull noted, “I don’t like to suggest that any kind of remote sensing is some sort of silver bullet to a problem, it’s just another tool.”
The use of drones in agriculture has become more prevalent as familiarity grows and the drones themselves continue to develop increased capabilities. Hull described some drone services that can provide information such as tree count, tree height and diameter, as well as tree mass. The baseline for drones appears to be established enough to the point where including them into standard farming plans may be more common for growers.
“I’ve heard a phrase one time that was something like ‘when the novelty runs out of the technology, it’s time to make it work,’” said Hull. “It’s time to figure out return on investment and how you’re going to actually utilize the technology to make money or save money, and I think that’s the stage that we’re in.”
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