UAS Magazine, by Luke Geiver
According to a study recently unveiled by Munich Reinsurance America Inc., nearly three-fourths of all U.S. farmers “are currently using or considering adopting the technology to assess, monitor and manage their farm.” Munich surveyed 269 farmers for input on how farmers are using or viewing drones. Most of the farmers surveyed have concerns related to drone usage (76 percent). Privacy issues, at 23 percent, was the most common concern held among farmers, followed by cyber security concerns with data captured via drone (20 percent) and then the possibility of injury or damage from the drone (17 percent).
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Ag Week, by Jonathan Knutson
Paulo Flores, asked about his background, says he grew up in Brazil in a poor family that raised crops on shares. He talks of earning a doctorate in soil science in Brazil, eventually coming to the United States to pursue his career. He pauses for a moment, as if he’s reluctant to say more, and then adds, “My family (back in Brazil) really doesn’t understand what I do. They don’t know what the Ph.D degree means.” Today, Paulo Flores’ career is soaring. He’s a precision agriculture specialist with North Dakota State University’s Carrington Research Extension Center, where he work with drones and other precision ag tools. Drones, also known as unmanned aerial vehicles, or UAVs, have been one of the hottest topics in Upper Midwest ag. “I’ve always been interested in using computers in agriculture, and that’s basically what’s involved in precision ag,” he says.
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KDLT News, by Allison Royal
The sky is no longer the limit for family farmers. PricewaterhouseCoopers estimates the market for drone-powered solutions in agriculture at more than $32 billion, but how helpful are these drones? With Drones farmers now have a sky-high view like they’ve never had before. Now they can get a special look at their corn crops like right over here – and that’s just the beginning. “When the aphids get really bad, you can take your drone and fly it within like four inches of the bean plant and as the drone’s hovering there, the pellars open up the beans, and you can see the aphids if it’s bad,” said joey Brown.
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Microsoft Transform, by Suzanne Choney
Since 2011, farmer Sean Stratman has grown kale, cauliflower, broccoli and squash in Carnation, Washington. Then, a few years ago, he added a new crop to his bounty: knowledge, using drones and the intelligent edge to get near-real-time information about issues like soil moisture and pests. It’s the kind of information that is not only helping him, but could benefit farmers around the world. “The more data I get, the more I can correlate it to what I’m experiencing in the field, and the greater that understanding becomes,” says Stratman, whose grandfathers were also vegetable farmers.
“I’m really optimistic and excited about how our knowledge will continue to grow. I have a feeling that it will become exponential at one point.”
A new partnership between Microsoft and leading drone maker DJI builds on the work both companies are doing with data and agriculture that could make it easier and more affordable for farmers like Stratman to quickly get the information they need to make crucial decisions about soil moisture and temperature, pesticides and fertilizer. Hours and days spent walking or driving the fields to try to detect problems can be eliminated. Microsoft’s FarmBeats program sends large amounts of data from ground-based sensors, tractors and cameras to a computer on the farm using TV white spaces, a type of internet connectivity similar to Wi-Fi but with a range of a few miles. TV white spaces are unused TV broadcast spectrum, which is plentiful in rural areas where most farms are located, and where standard internet connections are often spotty.
Successful Farming, by Laurie Bedord
DroneDeploy has released new capabilities to help farmers perform more accurate plant health analysis and process high-quality maps during every stage of crop growth. Farmers can now create field maps using sensors designed for agriculture, including Sentera’s near-infrared and SLANTRANGE’s calibrated multi-spectral sensors. It’s no secret farmers have a number of hardware options when it comes to selecting a drone to evaluate crops. By partnering with SLANTRANGE and Sentera, DroneDeploy customers will now have more freedom to use the camera or sensor of their choice. While most growers begin with visible-spectrum cameras that come standard on drones like the DJI Phantom 4 Pro, many turn to sensors designed specifically for ag to perform more accurate, scientific analysis of plant health.
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