More farmers are now using aerial technology and remote sensing data for Precision Farming decision-making.  Aerial Imagery is rapidly becoming a routine procedure in the management of crop workflow.

A bare earth map is a great way to catch drainage and irrigation issues early

Frank Segarra, President at Connexicore, is pleased to announce the availability of the 2018 Agriculture Whitepaper. Mr. Segarra goes on to say, “It’s really not a surprise that Drones now have a year-round presence in agriculture. From using drone maps to assess drainage tiles to determine if irrigation systems are functioning correctly, to using an elevation map to assess the slope of a field to determine if new drainage tile is needed, drones play a key role in planning. It’s not unusual for the resultant plan to show both the location and number of tiles needed to get the job done.”

With over 20 years of industry experience, ConnexiCore is deeply engaged in several inter-related aspects of drone management and the systems to support business workflow in Agriculture. Connexicore has quickly become one of the most recognized, full-scale drone solution providers in the marketplace.  ConnnexiCore is committed to the delivery of solutions that meet the client’s requirements from taking an abstract idea, to establishing the deployment of a timely workflow.

DRAINAGE AND IRRIGATION

A bare earth map is a great way to catch drainage and irrigation issues early, before they turn into bigger problems next growing season.  This kind of mapping can easily be done before the ground freezes.

To best view drainage tiles, map your field in the morning after a rain, when the soil is still wet but beginning to dry out.  Aerial Imagery will show the red areas are the driest and the green areas are still relatively wet, signifying that they might not be draining as fast as the rest of the field. An elevation map is also a useful tool here.

Although a standard drone map (without the use of ground control points) shouldn’t be used to determine the actual coordinates for laying drainage tiles, it can still help you assess how a field slopes, decide if tile is needed, and make a general plan for the location and number of tiles.

Additionally, to detect potential problem areas with an above-surface irrigation system, an RGB (using color values) map or crop health map is ideal. Excess water may build below the surface before any issues can be seen above ground.  By reviewing a RGB map a lot of irrigation issues, like flat or sunken tires, or plugged nozzles, can be spotted early.

USING HISTORICAL AERIAL DATA

One of the best things about drones is the opportunity to analyze issues in real time. This means the same drone maps used at the height of the growing season to make a difference are also invaluable when it comes time for a post-season debrief.

By reviewing side-by-side maps and integrating this new data with historical field data?—?such as soil type, soil sample, planting, and yield data?—?you gain a true picture of field’s performance.  With a greater understanding of what happened, exactly where it happened, and at what point in time, you can make smarter crop management decisions to maximize next year’s yield.

MORE DATA MEANS MORE OPTIONS & BETTER DECISIONS in FARMING

If you want more details, compare your drone maps with other information, like harvest, yield, variety, and spraying maps.  This points out the importance of using Cloud based data points.  All you have to do is import the necessary field maps from the software.  Better yet, you can also export orthomosaic, plant health, and elevation maps.  The end result is a complete history  of how crops are being grown.

As spring arrives and planting approaches, it’s a good idea to map your bare field one last time.  A preseason barren earth map, combined with targeted ground-truthing, can help you understand what pests and weeds have come up as a result of heavy rains or severe weather.

If any issues do exist, you can use ConnexiCore plant health tools to assess how much spraying may be needed and where to apply it. When it comes to “time to plant,” you will have better knowledge of the field health.

NEED FOR SEASONAL FLIGHT PLANNING

Just as the off season is the time to take stock of equipment, maintenance, and staffing needs, it’s also the time to create a seasonal flight plan.  Flying at regular intervals creates a consistent record of what a field looks like over time and gives you more information to work with when it comes time to make those big, mid-season decisions.

If you go into the busiest months with a pre-established calendar, you’ll be more likely to stay consistent even when things get busy.  So exactly how often should you fly your fields?  This varies depending on your situation, but in general, consider the value of a particular crop and the distance of the field from your headquarters.  Strive for flying the most convenient and high-value crops each week, and the less convenient crops biweekly.

HERE’S A SUGGESTED MONTHLY CHECKLIST:

JAN/FEB:  Purchase Equipment, Necessary software, Drone service

MAR:  Soil Mapping, Historical maps

APR: Planting

MAY: Replanting

JUN/JUL/AUG:  Crop Scouting, Application decisions, Irrigation Needs, Yield projections

SEP:  Harvest

OCT:  Drainage Repair

NOV/DEC:  Evaluate & Plan

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ConnexiCore is committed to partnering with companies through innovation, advancing groundbreaking information technologies and creating synergies so customers can take advantage of ConnexiCore’s entire geospatial and industrial services, including Precision FarmingClick here to see a video on ConnexiCore Flight Services.

Contact Kim Kersten at 800-874-9640 Ext 703 or kim@connexicore.com for a copy of the 2018 Agricultural White Paper or for more information.