New drone technology on show at LAMMA

New easy to use drone technology that will help farmers to walk crops more efficiently is to be unveiled by Drone Ag at LAMMA.  Skippy Scout is a crop monitoring application (app) that uses drones to automatically capture images which are analysed by ground-breaking artificial intelligence (AI) to offer arable farmers vital broad acre crop insight.

The phone-based app uses GPS and mapping software to fly a drone to points in a field selected by the farmer. The images taken by the drone are interpreted by the app to provide an accurate green area index (GAI) and count emerging plants. The quality of image collected can also identify weeds and is accurate enough to capture insect damage on a single leaf.

Jack Wrangham, founder of Drone Ag, will be speaking at LAMMA to explain how drones are already an essential tool to many farmers and how over the next five years drones will help provide the information to aid precision farming. He explains:

“Farmers have always walked their crops. However, the time to do this in the traditional way is diminishing. As farm sizes increase and labour units per hectare decline, the risk of losing crops because a problem has not been identified quickly enough will increase. Skippy Scout offers every farmer the chance to see and evaluate crops easily and efficiently using just a phone and a drone.”

Jack further explains that drones and technology are not future fantasy, but vital tools that are being used by farmers today.

“Technology is not a threat to farming, it is an aid that can save time and money. Adapting farming methods to make use of technology like Skippy is crucial if agriculture is going to provide for the world’s ever-growing population. We have involved hundreds of farmers as trialists and many more are waiting to use Skippy in 2020.”

Drone Ag was able to crowdfund the investment needed to develop Skippy Scout and will launch the product in March 2020. A partnership with drone specialists Heliguy will offer farmers the opportunity to lease a package of drone and software, allowing those interested to experiment and learn how drones can benefit their farm.

“We are arable farmers and we have developed Skippy at our own farm in Northumberland. I will be speaking in the ‘Farming 4.0’ area at LAMMA to explain how easy the software is to use and how every arable farmer can benefit by investing in new technology,” concludes Jack.

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About The Author

John Swire - Deputy editor of Agronomist and Arable Farmer as well as responsibility for the Agronomist and Arable Farmer and Farm Business websites. After 17 years milking cows on the family farm John started writing about agriculture in 1998 and has since written for a variety of publications and has developed a wide circle of contacts within the industry. When not working John is a season ticket holder at Stoke City and also of late has become a fitness freak, listing cycling, swimming and walking as his exercises of choice.