Air Farm – Field Data Collection and Inspection

Air Farm – Field Data Collection and Inspection. It started out as a glorified robotic flying scarecrow. Soon it evolved into a smart farming tool that is changing the way we produce food.

After the founders of US drone maker PrecisionHawk were asked by a vineyard owner if their device could be used to scare away birds, they soon started seeing all sorts of new possibilities.

They realised drones could also be used for crop imaging – and at a bargain price. The conventional method of doing this with manned aircraft can cost $1,000 an hour. For that outlay, a farmer can now buy a drone outright.

Using its simple Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) which are equipped with a variety of sensors, PrecisionHawk’s drones can detect everything from irrigation levels to soil variation. They can even identify pest and fungal infestations that would otherwise be invisible.

The drones’ imaging sensors, including infrared and hyper-spectral, depict more than 100 channels of light that can reveal problem areas invisible to the human eye. Sensors can indicate that plants which still appear green to a farmer may, in fact, be under stress. The drones can also track changes in the crop over a long period of time, revealing trouble spots or opportunities for better crop management.

All you need to survey up to 300 acres per flight is the ability to throw the drone into the air. “Every year this technology becomes easier to use, more efficient,” says Neil Gabriel, data engineer at the company.

It is not an exaggeration to say such drones are part of a new way of farming described variously as digital agriculture, Ag 3.0, precision agriculture or data-driven agriculture. Whatever you call it, this is a new era in which information is driving ever more efficient farming.

PrecisionHawk’s machines transmit the data they gather to the cloud where the information is analysed in its algorithm “library” and visualisations are created, giving the farmer invaluable insights that cut costs and boost yields.

about Lombard Odier

Founded in 1796, Lombard Odier is one of the largest private banks in Switzerland and Europe.

Lombard Odier was founded in 1796 in Geneva, where it has its headquarters. The bank, which has been a family business for seven generations, is run by its partners. They are both owners and managers, and they are equally involved in strategy and management as well as client services.

The bank, which is present in all the world’s major financial centres, has a network of 26 offices covering 19 jurisdictions and employs around 2,180 people.

Some years ago, Lombard Odier decided to accelerate the development of its private-client activities in Europe, Asia and Switzerland, strengthen its asset management services, and make its technology platform available to finance professionals.

more : Lombard Odier Field Data Collection

Drones and the Future of Farming by National Geographic