Can UAVs really be game-changers for agriculture?

Laurie Bedord - Successful Farming

Type: Article
Knowledge level: Intermediate

Farm Table says:

Another great article that includes quotes from Dr "Ray" of Kansas State University who clearly and articulately outlines the chasm we need to get across to bring the true value of precision ag and drones to farmers.

Many in agriculture have kept their distance from drones, Laurie Bedford writes. There were a only a few early adopters of drone technology and companies have struggled to convince customers to invest.

Professor at Kansas State University, Ray Asebedo, is used to farmers questioning the value of precision ag technology. He states that when growers don’t want to invest because profit margins are low, he says he has the reverse logic:

“I think the best time for proving the value of a precision agriculture method like a UAV is when the profit margin is so tight. You no longer have that margin of error, and you need to optimize inputs now more than ever. Making the right decision is critical, and these tools can make a difference.”

One challenge, as covered throughout the literature on drones, is translating the data – seamlessly and efficiently – include usable information.

“We’re not giving farmers exactly what they want. They should be able to buy a system, push a button, fly the field, and have an algorithm analyse it,” says Asebedo. “Then they get the recommendations and yield estimates right there and then. They don’t want to spend their time figuring out the science of putting this all together.”

“That’s my job. It’s a big hurdle we need to get over if we want this technology adopted.”

2016 - United States - Laurie Bedord - Successful Farming
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