Drones have been in the media a lot these days, pickup any agriculture magazine or on occasion see a clip on a major television network and UAV’s (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle-“Drones”) are being touted for their uses in capturing imagery on crops and used in precision farming application. The legality of flying UAV’s is questionable at best, and we expect at some time in the future FAA will establish policy in the operation of UAV’s for commercial purposes. Aerial Imagery is not a new technology there are several ways to collect imagery either by satellite which is typically about 5 to 10 meter resolution or from a fix wing aircraft with resolution of 1 meter down to inches. CPS has been working with Eagle Digital Imaging, a family business based out of Corvallis, since 2006. CPS first looked at vineyard imagery in the North Willamette Valley to identify vigor variability across the wine grape blocks. Later followed with spring imagery timing on Grass Seed with in the intentions to make variable rate applications of Plant Growth Regulators. This was a great tool for us to create zone maps and establish rates according to crop health, vigor and crop density. Eagle Digital Imaging President David Shear, his wife Cheryl and son Colin, Director of Operations, along with a team of 9 employees are working on providing imagery on a new mobile platform to be used by fieldmen, growers and all interested parties. This new delivery method would enable users to evaluate images at the speed of business. Eagle Digital Imaging has the ability to act quickly with a fleet of 3 efficient Mooney aircraft and delivers a quick turn around on high quality images, but the ability to quickly view images on a mobile device out in the field or at the office gives users an edge in getting the maximum benefit from the data captured and a means of analysis of multiple imagery shots throughout the growing season. Also, considerations are being made to include imagery from historic sources outside of Eagle Digital Imagery and from UAV’s (drones) collections. Please contact your fieldmen if you would like to know more about imagery applications or would like to capture imagery on your fields.
Eagle Digital Imaging Staff
Example of Aerial Imagery from Eagle Digital Imaging