An engineer at the University of Florida is using new technology including satellite, planes, and drones to help farmers.
Previously, farmers have been walking through their fields in order to collect data on vegetables and fruits. However, with the new technology, they will simply take to the sky and collect a lot more data within a very short time.
Crop farmer, in some case, needs “the bigger picture”. With just half an hour of flight farmers will have enough time to cover 100 acres, according to Yiannis Amptzidis, assistant professor in the Department of Agriculture.
The assistant professor together with other members of the department came up with software to assist farmers. The software has an accuracy of 99 percent and features tree measurement and detection capabilities.
A user flies a plane or drone to achieve bird’s eye view of crops or trees. From the developed image, the farmer is able to deduce data such as crop height, canopy characteristics and whether there is additional room for extensive growth.
Drones allow farmers to perform this activity at a faster rate for a fraction of the cost incurred when using conventional methods. Besides, there is an opportunity for employment. In future, the technology could be stretched to include prescriptive maps that farmers how apply chemicals precisely.
The purpose of this new system is to assist farmers around the U.S. The main target of the new technology is citrus farmers located in Florida, although it can be used to manage crops like grapes, blueberries, and sugarcane.