YUMA and MARICOPA, AZ –Precision Agriculture with Drones
Using drones equipped with sensors and other imaging technologies, BE is collaborating with scientists at Yuma and Maricopa Ag Centers to develop simple and near-real time tools to assist farmers control and manage field crops. Drones offer a costs effective alternative to satellite imaging that essentially mimics satellites but with many folds the precision and ease of deployment. They capture the spectrums of light invisible to the naked eye and measure the crop development with higher precision and submillimeter resolution.
With this multi-spectral, thermal, and other data collected from drones, famers are able to:
- Measure plan size and monitor their growth for more accurate predictions of crop demand and yield.
- Differentiate weeds from the actual crop (ex: lettuce), so that they can be targeted and removed (via human labor or automated machinery) to optimize crop growth and resource allocation.
- Monitor crop health in near-real time, so that farmers can take appropriate actions.
- Estimate irrigation water needs based on plants stress and field ET and optimize efficiency further.