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Veteran Contributor

Anyone using remote controlled helicopters for checking crops

Seen this company will have their stuff at Farm Progress Show. Not sure whether Ill buy one but it would be nice to have maybe someone in my area will buy one I would be willing to go in on one they want $3800 which is cheaper than some I've looked at.. Guy says it will do a flyover using GPS coordinates with some filter on a gopro camera and help communicate with other  equipment to help save money on nitrogen application and insect infestation anyone had any experience and seen a savings of any money or time. Always a crap shot when trying new technology and get it to pay it's way. 

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4 Replies

Re: Anyone using remote controlled helicopters for checking crops

There is some discussion on this topic in Precision Ag.

So, what are you going to do with some cute pictures?  Check the underside of a bottom soybean leaf?

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Senior Contributor

Re: Anyone using remote controlled helicopters for checking crops

I Custom Farm all my Iowa farmland, so I also do alot of the crop scouting to find out what problems we have. I have been thinking about this new technology and money-wise it may pay off now. It would sure beat doing all that walking out in the fields every year that we have to do for the scouting. As with anything new, the pay-off is questionable the 1st few years the technology is out, but the current prices are now low enough to maybe make it worth a try. But I see in the next 5 years that this may become alot more common. I also heard that the PETA Animal Rights people may start using those little airplanes to spy on the livestock producers to see if they are taking care of there pigs. If PETA starts flying one of those little airplanes over my hog buildings, I see a new sport developing, that being shooting down the PETA Airplanes with our 12GA Shotguns!!!!!!!! Wouldn't that be a riot, shooting down the PETA Drone Airplanes???

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Honored Advisor

Re: Anyone using remote controlled helicopters for checking crops

Jim, I wonder how the resolution and accuracy of the photo to a given location, using a moving miniature chopper, will match up to on-ground scouting, too.  One has to think that some calibration might be required. 

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Re: Anyone using remote controlled helicopters for checking crops

BTW, it would really b e worth your while to check out the Precision Ag posts because one of the issues discussed is legality.  Make no mistake,  The FAA owns the air (or close enough).  The people who say you can use a UAS under RC rules crash when it comes to commercial use.  Scouting your own crops is commercial use, don't make any mistake on that.  

The FAA is comingout with some new regs but t5hey ahve been slow to come.

Keep in mind that the UAS people are not turning to agriculture because they think it is a great place to sell UAS.  They came to UAS because the public uproar over police havin UAS scared them off.  They figure after they get the UAS down on the farm that it will be a way to sneak them in under the tent and it will be OK to sell them to the cops again.  The leberals on the coast were really up in arms over privacy.  They know tht farmers don't care about privacy.  Your neighbor won't casre if you take pictures of his crops, will he?

Check out Precision Ag.  This has all been talked about there.

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