UAV Can Be Another Tool in Farmer's Toolbox

UAV Can Be Another Tool in Farmer's Toolbox

Idaho precision-ag farmer Robert Blair is the first U.S. farmer to purchase and use drone or an UnManned Aerial Vehicle -- UAV for short -- on his diversified dry land operation. While most of us have heard of military use of drones, some not be aware of their prospective value for ag.

Blair has been using his UAV to get basic data on his crops in a quicker and more efficient manner than the usual scouting methods of using a four-wheeler or walking through the field. It also provides Blair a proactive opportunity to make any needed changes as he explains.

Blair: “And when we take a look at yield monitoring data it helps verifying what we are seeing in the images a lot of times -- especially with weeds and yield. But yield data is reactive data, I cannot do anything to that crop because it has already gone its course and into the bulk tank. Where a UAV and capturing that information allows me to be proactive and then make those changes and applications that are needed in that field.”

Blair is a continual learner is always exploring new technology and methods to make his business better. He shares.

Blair: “One of my favorite quotes is, ‘To be as good as our fathers, we must be better.’ Because if we just stay the same, we will never progress as a person, industry or society, so we always have to look to be better.”

In tomorrow’s report Blair will discuss the challenges of expanding UAVs into commercial use in agriculture.

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