If you only plan to have your fields mapped during the growing season, you might want to reconsider. From scouting for weeds to assessing drainage tiles, growers are increasingly using drones as an indispensable, year-round field management tool.
Assess Irrigation Systems and Drainage Tiles
Before the ground freezes, chances are you’ll spend time repairing drainage tiles and optimizing irrigation systems. Why not make your work more efficient, and more effective, by mapping the field? A bare earth map is a great way to catch drainage and irrigation issues early, before they turn into bigger problems next growing season.
Scan Soil to Detect Pre-Season Issues
As spring arrives and planting approaches, it’s a good idea to map your bare field one last time. A pre-season 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.
Use Maps to Plan for the Next Growing Season
Reviewing maps from past growing seasons is a valuable tool to help with planting plans for the year ahead. Spot trends by using your drone maps to visualize crop emergence and plant health over time, then compare this with historical information on things like soil conditions and yields.
Prepare for the Busy Season with a Flight Calendar
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 to making those big, mid-season decisions. How often you fly is going to depend on your crops, the size of your fields, their distance from your central location, and your specific data needs. But regardless of how often you plan to fly, if you head into the busiest months with a pre-established calendar, you’ll be more likely to stay consistent even when things get busy.