CURTIS, Nebraska -- Crop producers and agricultural students can get a birds-eye view of farm fields near Curtis in a public demonstration Monday, April 28 th at the Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture.
Using an unmanned aerial vehicle or UAV, commonly called a drone, a California- based company will show how the latest in farming technology can be applied to precision agriculture, said Brad Ramsdale, NCTA agronomy professor.
"All of the agronomy students will attend the session, and we are inviting the general public and area agricultural industries and businesses too," said Ramsdale. "It is a free demonstration."
A classroom presentation begins at 3 p.m. to discuss UAV technology and provide a question-answer session, followed by a trek to NCTA cropland located immediately north of campus.
Hyper Sight Imaging features three models of the UAV's on its web site. Ramsdale said the company will fly over the fields with the drones ahead of the 3 p.m. classroom session. The captured data will be analyzed for review with the public.
These crop drones are about the size of large remote-controlled airplanes. However, the drones are not operated by remote control. Instead, they are pre-programmed to fly back and forth across the land, capturing data images through sensors, Ramsdale explains. They are useful in assisting crop scouts and farmers with overall awareness about crop conditions.
"The most common use for this technology is to monitor crop health and canopy development," Ramsdale noted. "The $5,000-$6,000 cost of a UAV may be well worth the producer investment in terms of crop inputs, labor savings and increased crop yields on their farm."
Additional information is available from Dr. Ramsdale at 308-367-5225.