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Aha: How Drones are Helping Farmers Produce Healthier Crops

“Accelerating the “aha” moment” is the name of the game at the annual Defrag Conference, which brings together some of the “best thinkers, builders and starters” to showcase internet-based tools that “transform information into layers of knowledge.”

Among the great thinkers and builders at this year’s conference was our own Brandon Basso, senior R&D engineer. Brandon demoed our copters and delivered a keynote presentation on “Closed-Loop Farming,” explaining how aerial imaging is enabling more efficient and targeted data gathering for monitoring and managing crops.

Using drones, farmers can quickly and easily gather visual data to assess the health of their crops. In addition, they can use near-infrared mapping to get more detailed information that they could obtain from unassisted visual analysis. The means they can target treatment to the crops that specifically require it, rather than applying a seasonally-driven one-size-fits-all model — an approach known as precision agriculture. Given that farmers lose roughly $25B a year through improper irrigation, insects and weeds, the potential return on investment is significant.

“It’s great to participate in a conference like Defrag where we have the ability to interact with the broader tech community,” said Brandon. “Everyone has a genuine interest in making the world a better place through their respective industries, from precision agriculture to augmented reality. Hats off to Eric and Kim Norlin, and all the speakers and participants for another great Defrag!”

Our kudos to Brandon for creating an “Aha moment” around the evolution of UAV technology for agricultural applications.

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