Drones for Extension

I have opened countless articles this year that described the important role that drones will play in farming and consulting. From my professional standpoint I wanted to know, “Can a drone play a role in Extension?” I teamed up with Dr. Dan Dourte, UF/IFAS Ag Engineering and Dr. Wendy-Lin Bartels, UF/IFAS Food and Resource Economics to consider the suitability of the technology to address the issues encountered in Extension. We are interested to learn where this technology might be applicable, and determine the value of the information obtained. We purchased a DJI Phantom 2 Vision + with support from the UF/IFAS Center for Public Issues Education. The goal of this funding was to support new ways to gather and share information and communicate about agriculture and natural resource issues.

I am just beginning to learn flight control and camera management. Preliminarily, it appears that flying is the easy part, managing the camera while in flight is a little harder, and removing the files from the electronics is the most difficult. Here is some video I took today as corn silage harvest begins in this area. I look forward to learning this technology and how it can be used to address resource and production concerns.

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