facebook_pixel

UAVs Could Be Game Changers for Growers and Consultants

From Cotton Grower Magazine – June 2014

 

There’s an increasing buzz in the air as the number of potential commercial uses for Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) – commonly known as drones – continues to grow.

Agriculture has long been considered one of the top markets for UAV use. It’s certainly one of the top priorities in the first Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) test site for UAV research now underway in North Dakota. The site, which became operational more than 2 ½ months ahead of schedule, is the first of six test sites across the U.S. chosen by FAA for UAV research. Their goals – to show that UAVs can check soil quality and crop status as a precision agriculture tool and to collect safety-related operational data needed to help integrate UAVs into U.S. airspace.

“These data will lay the groundwork for reducing risks and ensuring continued safe operations of UAVs,” said FAA Administrator Michael Huerta, in a statement as the testing began in late April. “We believe the test site programs will be extremely valuable to integrating unmanned aircraft and fostering America’s leadership in advancing this technology.”

According to a report from the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI), agriculture will account for an estimated 80 percent of all UAV usage when the FAA finalizes regulations for commercial use. “Unmanned aircraft are a well-suited technology to allow the farming community to collect reliable information in a safe and efficient manner,” said Gretchen West, AUVSI executive vice president.

That’s all fine and promising, you may say. But how can this impact my farming operation? Or more importantly – how can I get my hands on one?

Good Fit for Cotton

Dr. Ed Barnes, senior director, agricultural and environmental research for Cotton Incorporated, believes the use of UAVs could be a game changer for agriculture and for cotton.

“We have to look at the history of imagery in agriculture and how it’s evolved over time,” said Barnes. “Anything that has been successful using manned aircraft or a satellite as a platform should still be a good starting point.

“In cotton, we learned that imagery can definitely help us do a better job of identifying parts of a field to help us better manage plant growth regulators, defoliants and other inputs,” he continued. “All of these things will still be on the table with UAVs. With satellites and airplanes, we were happy if we got image sizes that were three feet by three feet. The thing that’s interesting about UAVs is that they can provide much higher resolution than we’re used to.”

Barnes can envision a scenario where a consultant might use a coarse image to identify areas of variability within a field, and then deploy a UAV for a closer look to help determine potential issues.

“This could be a very valuable tool for consultants to expand what they can offer to their clients.”

Topics:

Leave a Reply

2 comments on “UAVs Could Be Game Changers for Growers and Consultants

Cotton Production Stories
Cotton Production

U.S. Cotton Sets New Sustainability, Environmental Goals

September 20, 2017

The U.S. cotton industry has set specific goals to help maintain and improve current sustainability and environmental gains over the next eight years.

Planting

Timely Rains Boost Panhandle Cotton

August 11, 2017

Timely and widespread rains in the Texas Panhandle arrived in time to help put fields on track for a good season.

Production Outlook / Acreage

Cotton Highlights from August WASDE Report

August 10, 2017

Results from the first crop production survey for 2017 drive the numbers in USDA’s WASDE report for August – including forecasts for the highest U.S. production in 11 years.

Production Outlook / Acreage

USDA: Planted Cotton Acres Up 20% in 2017

June 30, 2017

USDA’s 2017 Planted Acres report, issued today, shows planted area for U.S. cotton at 12.1 million acres – 20% above last year.

Cotton Production

Thoughts on Cotton Nitrogen Management

June 23, 2017

Tyson Raper, Tennessee Extension cotton and small grains specialist, shares some key points for proper Nitrogen management in cotton.

Planting

TX Cotton Growers Watching Moisture Levels Closely

May 25, 2017

There is some concern that soil moisture in 2017 could be problematic, especially for Texas dryland cotton producers.

Cotton Production

When Less Means More

April 19, 2017

Greg Basinger increased his overall cotton production despite dropping nearly 1,000 acres from his operation.

Around The Gin
Product News

Americot Adds Three to Regional Sales Force

September 20, 2017

Americot, Inc. has added three new regional representatives to the company’s sales force.

Product News

Enlist One Herbicide Added to Enlist System

September 13, 2017

Dow AgroSciences adds a straight-goods 2,4-D choline herbicide for additional tank-mix flexibility in Enlist crops.

Product News

Elevore Herbicide Registered for Burndown Use

August 30, 2017

Dow AgroSciences’ Elevore herbicide has received federal registration for use in fall and spring burndown programs for cotton, soybeans and corn.

Product News

Stoneville Legacy Club Honors Charter Members

August 24, 2017

The new Stoneville Legacy Club honored 129 growers who recorded average yields of 1,794 lbs/A or higher on at least 20 acres with Stoneville cotton varieties.

Product News

Improved Bollworm Management Expected in 2018

August 23, 2017

Southeast Texas cotton farmers should have new tools available in 2018 to better manage bollworms and other potentially damaging pests.

Product News

Maximizer Club Honors Top FiberMax Dryland Growers

August 17, 2017

The FiberMax Maximizer Club honored 121 growers who yielded at least 1,000 lb/A on dryland acres with FiberMax varieties in 2016.

Product News

Monsanto, Valent Expand Roundup Ready PLUS Partnership

August 7, 2017

Monsanto and Valent U.S.A. are expanding their crop protection partnership for the 2018 Roundup Ready PLUS Crop Management Solutions platform.

Product News

New Broadleaf Burndown Option Coming from Dow AgroSciences

July 31, 2017

A new burndown option for tough broadleaf weeds has shown excellent promise in trials across the Mid-South and Midwest.

Latest News
Cotton Production

U.S. Cotton Sets New Sustainability, Environmental Goals

September 20, 2017

The U.S. cotton industry has set specific goals to help maintain and improve current sustainability and environmental gains over the next eight years.

Harvest

Updated Mid-South Defoliation Guide Now Online

September 11, 2017

The 2017 Mid-South Cotton Defoliation Guide from the MidSouth Cotton Specialists’ Working Group is now available online.

Production Outlook / Acreage

Riding a Rising Market

August 30, 2017

California grower Aaron Barcellos relies on smart water use to help take full advantage of a rising Pima market and replenished water supplies.

Planting

Timely Rains Boost Panhandle Cotton

August 11, 2017

Timely and widespread rains in the Texas Panhandle arrived in time to help put fields on track for a good season.

Production Outlook / Acreage

Cotton Highlights from August WASDE Report

August 10, 2017

Results from the first crop production survey for 2017 drive the numbers in USDA’s WASDE report for August – including forecasts for the highest U.S. production in 11 years.

Production Outlook / Acreage

USDA: Planted Cotton Acres Up 20% in 2017

June 30, 2017

USDA’s 2017 Planted Acres report, issued today, shows planted area for U.S. cotton at 12.1 million acres – 20% above last year.

Cotton Production

Thoughts on Cotton Nitrogen Management

June 23, 2017

Tyson Raper, Tennessee Extension cotton and small grains specialist, shares some key points for proper Nitrogen management in cotton.

Planting

TX Cotton Growers Watching Moisture Levels Closely

May 25, 2017

There is some concern that soil moisture in 2017 could be problematic, especially for Texas dryland cotton producers.

Cotton Production

When Less Means More

April 19, 2017

Greg Basinger increased his overall cotton production despite dropping nearly 1,000 acres from his operation.

Planting

Seven Tips for Successful Cotton Planting

April 19, 2017

According to NC State Cotton Specialist Guy Collins, growers need to keep seven tips in mind at planting to help ensure a successful cotton stand.

Production Outlook / Acreage

USDA Report Shows 12.2 Million Acres for 2017

March 31, 2017

USDA’s Prospective Plantings report indicates that 12.2 million acres of cotton will be planted in the U.S. in 2017.

Production Outlook / Acreage

Strong Exports Helping Drive Higher Cotton Prices

March 23, 2017

Growers can expect to make at least 5 to 6 cents more per pound of cotton than this time last year, primarily due to increased exports.

Harvest

Never Too Early to Review Picking Capacities

March 9, 2017

Before planters head to the field this season, Dr. Tyson Raper contends it’s not too early to review picker capacity in the likelihood of increased acres.

Planting

More Cotton, Less Grain Likely in Texas in 2017

February 24, 2017

Cotton acres in Texas will likely increase this season, as producers seek an alternative to grains.

Planting

Optimize Irrigation and Fertility in High Plains Cotton

February 21, 2017

With many producers in the northern High Plains considering cotton this year, optimizing irrigation and fertility will be important to their bottom line.