Drones in Agriculture: Getting the Most Out of Your UAV This Growing Season

Webinar Recap: Advanced Crop Scouting and Field Management with DroneDeploy and Other Leading Agriculture Software

DroneDeploy's Blog
Published in
5 min readJul 7, 2017

“The sword is only as powerful as its master.”

Like any other tool at your disposal around the farm, a drone is only going to be as useful as you make it. We often talk a lot about using drones to detect stress and spot variability in your crops. But drones are capable of providing more advanced insights to help you manage your fields during the growing season.

Last week, we held the third edition of our agriculture drone clinic series, “Advanced Crop Scouting and Field Management”. In the webinar, we broke down some of the ways that you can use DroneDeploy and other leading precision agriculture software to move beyond basic crop scouting and use your drone as a tool for greater field management.

If you missed the webinar, don’t worry. You can watch the full recording to ensure you’re getting the most out of your drone this season.

Comparing Field Data Over Time

Understanding what’s happening in your fields throughout the season is critical to success. Drones make it possible to compare and track field progress, evaluate test results, and eliminate areas of crop stress over time, whether it’s the course of one growing season or year to year. DroneDeploy has the ability to compare maps over time and help you spot areas of concern so that you can act quickly to address them.

“By tracking crop data over time, you’re able to compare maps and eliminate problem areas in your fields — whether it’s due to soil type, fertilizer, or even drainage issues.” — Kyle Miller, DroneDeploy

Comparing your field maps side-by-side makes it possible to see the effects of fertilizer on crops, track performance, and understand when problems occur. This can help you generate prescriptions to maximize yield come harvest time.

Interested in learning how you can track field data over time with DroneDeploy? Watch the full webinar recording here.

Counting Plants and Determining Stand Count

Drone-based stand counts offer accurate, cost-effective alternatives to ground sampling. In the webinar, we dug into best practices for flying fields when conducting stand counts including: flight altitude, speed, and overlap. We also covered some of the software solutions available on the DroneDeploy App Market that you can use to count plants in your drone maps.

“Over the past few years, we have discovered the best practices for conducting stand counts, as well as partnered with some of the best companies that are able to provide stand count solutions in our App Market.” — Kyle Miller, DroneDeploy

Tools like Agremo (formerly Agrisens) and Aglytix turn your drone maps into actionable data. In a matter of hours, you can generate a detailed report with information on plant counts and sowing quality. These apps can help you pinpoint areas of loss and evaluate economic impact quickly.

Agremo and Aglytix provide stand count tools via the DroneDeploy App Market

When faced with a field showing poor plant emergence, you have to take action quickly. Within a short window of time, you must evaluate whether in-season course corrections are worth the cost, or if it’s best to let the remaining plants run their course. But traditional ground sampling methods offer very little information by which to make these crucial decisions. They involve taking a sample and extrapolating it across an entire field, which often results in a high margin of error. At best, they offer a rough estimate of crop emergence.

Aglytix Stand Analysis uses aerial RGB imagery to determine the number of gaps in a field

Learn more about counting plants and conducting stand counts by watching the full webinar recording.

Optimizing Irrigation Systems Using Drone Data

Irrigation is an important part of the growing process, especially in agricultural states within the Midwest region of the US. But did you know you can use drone data to optimize irrigation systems?

There are two different types of irrigation that can benefit from the use of drone data: subsurface drainage (below soil) and pivot irrigation (above the soil). Drones make it possible to view drainage tiles and determine if the irrigation systems are functioning correctly. Using RGB imagery along with DroneDeploy’s plant health and elevation tools, you can identify problem areas that aren’t visible on the ground — making it possible to manage your fields more effectively. In the webinar, we discuss the relative and absolute accuracy of plant health and elevation data, and how you can use these tools to optimize your irrigation and drainage plans.

Watch the full webinar recording to learn more about using drone data to optimize your irrigation systems.

If you’re considering the use of drones this season or seeking a more advanced understanding of the many ways you can turn drone maps into actionable data, look no further. This webinar covered a lot of information you can put to use right away on the farm. If you weren’t able to attend, make sure you check out the recording and review our additional resources below.

Where to Learn More

If you’re looking for more information about putting your drone to work this season, we recommend that you check out some of our other agricultural resources, including the other drone clinics in this series.

Get Started with DroneDeploy

Want to learn how DroneDeploy can help your business? Visit www.dronedeploy.com to start your free trial or request a consultation with one of our team members. The DroneDeploy mobile application is available for free download for both iOS and Android devices.



DroneDeploy's Blog

DroneDeploy is the leading cloud software platform for commercial drones.