Corn School: Using your drone to make better management decisions
Recent advances in the availability and quality of satellite imagery is providing powerful in-season management insights for corn growers.
Many growers feel it’s no longer necessary to fly their own drone to capture aerial images of their fields. They can simply rely on a growing number of agronomic services to scout their crop using drone or satellite imagery and provide management advice.
But there’s still benefit for farmers who want to fly their own drone or unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV). In this episode of RealAgriculture Corn School, Pride Seeds market agronomist Dan Foster shares a series of drone field images he shot this summer. He explains that flying his own drone gives him the flexibility to quickly take an overhead look at his field to evaluate nitrogen use and assess tassel timing throughout the field.
Foster says the difficult planting conditions experienced in 2017 created significant variability across fields in his area of southwestern Ontario, along Lake Erie. Flying his drone over those fields provided instant feedback and allowed him to target different areas of the field for scouting to determine the optimum timing for fungicide application.
“There are lots of great services out there that are fantastic and inexpensive… but my thought is I can do a quick flyover for five minutes and know where I need to scout in these fields.”
Foster also notes he used his drone this summer to assess how new varieties fared in some of the drought-prone sand soils along Lake Erie. In the video, he analyzes mid-season and harvest photos and how he can use this information from these images to help make variety selection decisions.
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