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
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.

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.

Production Outlook / Acreage

NCC Projects 11 Million U.S. Cotton Acres in 2017

February 11, 2017

The National Cotton Council is projecting a total of 11.0 million acres of cotton to be planted in the U.S. in 2017.

Planting

Field Prep Underway for South TX Planting

February 2, 2017

With spring planting a few weeks away, growers in south Texas are making good progress on field preparation.

Production Outlook / Acreage

2017 Looks Like a Good Year for SC Cotton Growers

February 1, 2017

South Carolina cotton growers can expect to see a better year in 2017, says a Clemson University economist.

Cotton Production

Dates Set for NC Cotton Meetings and Mandatory Auxin Training

January 24, 2017

The NC State Extension cotton team has scheduled a series of cotton production meetings across the state, as well as special mandatory training sessions for use of the new auxin herbicides.

Cotton Production

Dates Set for Required Pesticide Training in Georgia

January 19, 2017

Before applying new auxin herbicides to dicamba- or 2,4-D-tolerant cotton and soybean varieties, growers and applicators in Georgia will be required to attend one of six pesticide training sessions.

Around The Gin
Product News

BASF Expands Dicamba Manufacturing Facility

March 22, 2017

BASF has completed a $270 million expansion of its Beaumont, TX, facility – the largest agricultural products facility investment in company history.

Product News

Topguard Terra Label Amendments for Cotton Root Rot in Texas

March 7, 2017

Texas growers now have additional preplant and post planting options for using Topguard Terra to control cotton root rot.

Product News

Advanced Traits from PhytoGen Protect Yield and Quality

March 6, 2017

PhytoGen varieties offer more and better in-plant, native trait protection to help cotton thrive, protect quality and optimize yields.

Product News

Six Greenleaf Nozzles Approved for Use with XtendiMax

February 24, 2017

Six TurboDrop D Series nozzles from Greenleaf Technologies have been approved for use with Monsanto’s XtendiMax herbicide with VaporGrip Technology.

Product News

EPA Approves DuPont’s FeXapan Dicamba Herbicide

February 17, 2017

DuPont has received EPA registration for FeXapan herbicide plus VaporGrip Technology, a low-volatility dicamba formulation for use on cotton and soybean varieties carrying traits that provide tolerance to dicamba and glyphosate herbicides.

Product News

Fourteen Southern States Register Enlist Duo for Use on Enlist Crops

February 14, 2017

Fourteen Southern states have granted state registration of Enlist Duo herbicide for use on Enlist cotton and other crops, following federal registration received in January.

Product News

BASF Application Academy Adds Online Training Module

February 2, 2017

BASF has added an online training module to its On Target Application Academy stewardship program to help increase education of new and advanced herbicide technologies.

Product News

Bayer Offers Shared Risk Program for FiberMax, Stoneville Growers

January 26, 2017

Bayer is helping support the economic sustainability of cotton growers through the company’s 2017 Shared Risk Program for those who plant FiberMax and Stoneville cotton seed.

Latest News
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.

Production Outlook / Acreage

NCC Projects 11 Million U.S. Cotton Acres in 2017

February 11, 2017

The National Cotton Council is projecting a total of 11.0 million acres of cotton to be planted in the U.S. in 2017.

Planting

Field Prep Underway for South TX Planting

February 2, 2017

With spring planting a few weeks away, growers in south Texas are making good progress on field preparation.

Production Outlook / Acreage

2017 Looks Like a Good Year for SC Cotton Growers

February 1, 2017

South Carolina cotton growers can expect to see a better year in 2017, says a Clemson University economist.

Cotton Production

Dates Set for NC Cotton Meetings and Mandatory Auxin Training

January 24, 2017

The NC State Extension cotton team has scheduled a series of cotton production meetings across the state, as well as special mandatory training sessions for use of the new auxin herbicides.

Cotton Production

Dates Set for Required Pesticide Training in Georgia

January 19, 2017

Before applying new auxin herbicides to dicamba- or 2,4-D-tolerant cotton and soybean varieties, growers and applicators in Georgia will be required to attend one of six pesticide training sessions.

Planting

Cover Crop Costs Recovered on Rolling Plains Cotton

December 28, 2016

Irrigated cotton producers on the Texas Rolling Plains could potentially be reaping more dollars per acre if they include a cover crop on their continuous cotton.

Cotton Production

EPA Registers Dicamba Formulation for Use On Dicamba Tolerant Crops

November 9, 2016

The EPA has registered Monsanto's XtendiMax with Vapor Grip technology - a new, low volatility dicamba formulation - for use in weed control programs in cotton and soybean crops engineered for dicamba tolerance.

Harvest

Cotton Looks Promising in Texas’ Rolling and High Plains

October 19, 2016

Good late-summer rains improved conditions for cotton in the Rolling and High Plains regions of Texas and likely mean an above-average crop for 2016.

Harvest

Possible Storm Impact on North Carolina Cotton

October 11, 2016

NC State specialists offer guidelines for making harvest decisions on cotton acres impacted by tropical storm Matthew.

Planting

Increasing Planter Capacity: Go Faster or Wider?

October 11, 2016

New technologies are giving growers more options to speed up planting. The best solution is the one better suited for your field shape and size.

Harvest

NCC Urges Cotton Quality Maintenance Following Rain Events

October 7, 2016

Growers and ginners are urged to follow proper guidelines to preserve cotton crop quality following Hurricane Matthew and other rain events at harvest.