The Internet, the smartphone, and online shopping: all of these had their skeptics when they first launched. Now, they’re commonplace. They improve efficiency and, ultimately, your bottom line. Could the same be said for drones? Many see them as toys or as too expensive. Purdue Extension Corn Specialist (and licensed drone pilot) Dr. Bob Nielsen says that is not the case. He says it’s tough to estimate how many farmers have adopted drones as part of their farm operation, but he senses that the percentage is low.
“I think it’s going to accelerate as more and more people realize they’re relatively inexpensive and what kind of photography we get from them. Folks like myself and some of my colleagues here at Purdue, our county extension educators who are working with drones, all of us are trying to come up with the good examples of ways that we can use them in a meaningful way that will somehow improve our bottom line in agriculture.”
And what are some of those examples?
“There’s a lot of inherent value to being able to fly your fields whenever you want, as often as you want, to simply look for the development of problems. Today’s technologies don’t allow us to diagnose from the air, but they at least point out the problems visually and then give us the wherewithal or the encouragement to then, on the ground, to get out to those areas of the field and start diagnosing what the causes are.”
Purdue Extension specialists will be at the Indiana Farm Equipment and Technology Expo to demonstrate and share some of their research. The show is Dec. 11, 12, and 13 at the Indiana State Fairgrounds, and their demonstrations will be at 10:30, 12:30, and 2:30 each day of the expo.
The Indiana Farm Equipment and Technology Expo has announced a Phantom 4 drone (UAV) will be given away each day of the Expo. A winner will be drawn from those who register for and attend the show on the day the drawing is made. The selection will be made each afternoon at 2 pm, and the individual must be present to win. No purchase is necessary; admission to the show is free.
More info can be found at indianafarmexpo.com.