Farmers Using Drones to Monitor Their Crops

Agriculture has always been on the cutting edge of new advancements in technology. Now, some farmers are getting aerial views of their crops in order to monitor their health. To do this, farmers are turning to drone technology allowing them to assess their farmlands fast, effectively and efficiently.

Corey Oeschger, a farmer who owns 100 acres in Huron County, Ohio, is using drones to monitor his crops like soybeans, wheat, corn, and more. Corey also operates a drone company called Thumb Drone Works. Corey says he started flying drones just for fun, but it didn’t take long before he realized the small aircraft would be an important tool in the agricultural industry.

In the springtime, Corey and his team flies a drone over their fields in order to take a good look at the farm’s drainage to make sure the water is properly draining. The drone is also used to monitor the winter wheat after fertilizer has been applied in the spring. According to Corey, the drone helps him see things that he most likely would have missed when looking from the road or at ground level. When using the drone, it is easy to pinpoint areas that were missed during fertilizer applications. He is able to do this because the drone takes high quality images allowing him to quickly survey all 100 acres of his land.

Besides using drones with the cameras, Corey also flies another drone with normalized difference vegetation cameras (NDVI) and thermal imaging cameras. The NDVI equipment gives them a photo that shows how well his plants are producing chlorophyll. Thermal imaging cameras show the hot and cool areas of their ;amd. The drones are also being used to detect areas in their fields in which the plants are infected with diseases. He is able to use his drones to monitor crops throughout the entire season.

Corey uses both a DJI Inspire and DJI Phantom. In addition to using the drones on his own farm, he is currently selling drones as well as monitoring other farmers’ land.  As drone technology keeps advancing, drones will soon be a vital part of many agricultural businesses. When used correctly, drones can help minimize loss and maximize yields on farms. In addition, they are cheap, readily available, and easy to operate making them a great tool for all farmers.

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