Until now farmers have spend hours visualising data from the ground level on quad bikes or from tractors giving them fairly limited information about the condition of the crop as a whole.
With our agriculture drones (UAV’s) it is now easy to view any given land area and turn it into actual data in a few hours. Precision agriculture is now affordable using drone (UAV) technology.
Xozzi Aerial Services’ commercial quadcopter drones can fly an average of 60-80 acres in around 20 minutes without the need to land. We carry spare pre-charged batteries on each job. It only takes a few minutes to change the battery and get back in air. So we are able to fly all day with very little disruption.
What makes our drones specific for agriculture is the ability of the modified drone camera to produce real NDVI agriculture imagery. NDVI is a vegetation index that is used to detect plant stress, ground moisture, irrigation issues, weeds, crop disease and compare vegetation conditions in various areas of a crop.
We now use a camera on our drone that has been modified and optimised to single out specific bands of light used to create that final NDVI image.
The raw images coming from the camera are filtered to show solely blue + NIR waves and the image appears a pink / blue colour.
These 12 megapixel images maximise the capability for a broad range of agricultural use, crop monitoring and disease identification.
The higher altitude we fly the more acres we can cover, but the lower we fly the more detailed the image. The standard maximum resolution of the images is 5cms per pixel but this can be increased to 1cm per pixel for an additional cost.
The flight altitude and image overlap is determined by the type of crop and the results required. We fly at a consistent height in a lawnmower path with the overlap of images normally set at 75-80% for most jobs.
When we pair and download the images from our drone 12 megapixel NDVI camera to our powerful processing cloud based software we have the ability to produce NDVI maps.
We use our tablets and laptops to set up custom waypoint navigation, setting the drone’s altitude flying pattern and route. After the drone has taken off it sends a live video feed to the controller on the ground.
This video feed is really useful when we are covering large field areas as we can talk to the client and if necessary revisit small areas before we process the images.
When we have collected all of the images we can upload them to the cloud software, which then processed the data and produces a finished map in an average 1-2 hours. In many cases the client has access to look and download the finished NDVI maps before we leave the farm.
When our commercial drones in agriculture are used regularly they provided a consistent track record of conditions and growth that help farmers in day to day operations, to make decisions, to catch problems faster, react quicker to improve the yields and get some early warnings of crop diseases.
The long-term benefits of agricultural data generated by drones are now helping farmers gain a more accurate picture of how the crops are reacting to their management strategies.
Xozzi Aerial Services, drone agricultural data is now helping farmers make more effective and informed decisions regarding:
- Crop overview and scouting
- Crop health and yield monitoring
- Modify chemical treatment, application and timing
- Field survey before planting
- Planting or fertiliser prescriptions
- Land improvements – design of drainage, water courses and buffer strips
- Note machinery issues and other visual defects
- Land management – rotation of crops
Depending on your farm mapping GPS systems our drone (UAV) 2D geo-tagged maps can be downloaded and used by sensor-equipped seeders, spreaders, tractors and combines.