AgEagle Helps Minimize Economic Loss of Crop from Frost
The Food and Agriculture Organization Reports That More Economic Losses Are Caused By Freezing Of Crops In The USA Than Any Other Weather Hazard
AgEagle Aerial Systems, Inc provides growers with important tools that enable them to minimize losses after a frost incident. The Food and Agriculture Organization reports that more economic losses are caused by freezing of crops in the USA than any other weather hazard.
It’s called “Winter Wheat” for good reason. A farmer plants it in the fall, it sprouts and goes dormant for the winter, but then revives and is ready for harvest in the late spring. Not only does this winter crop have economic value but the organic material that is left behind after a harvest provides additional nutrients for the next crop.
Although designed to resist cold temperatures, when frost does strike the crop, it can be very difficult for a farmer to determine the most cost-effective action to take. The decision is determined by what part of the plant is damaged and the percentage of the total crop that is affected.
This spring, winter wheat grower Joe Newland experienced first-hand how a drone could rapidly provide the information needed to make the right decision that would reduce his loss. His wheat was hit by frost in early March, prior to ear emergence, which is a particularly resistant phase for winter wheat. Based on an examination of the plants in the field, it was evident that the damage was to the leaves.
Initially, it was difficult to determine what percentage of the field was impacted. Depending on that figure, the farmer might slash the entire crop, returning nothing; harvest for hay, which could bring some returns; or continue to harvest the wheat, albeit with lower yields. Getting a precise estimate of damaged crop would ensure the right decision.
Using an AgEagle RX-60 drone, Joe collected data over the entire field in just a few minutes. The software identified that approximately 73% of the field had suffered minimal damage from the frost and would likely produce full yield. As a result of the data provided by AgEagle’s RX-60 drone, Joe chose to continue to bring the crop to term and harvest it for wheat.
“When I first walked into the field, my heart sank,” said Joe Newland. “I was worried that I was going to have to disc it all under and go through the expense of replanting soy beans later in the season. However, the AgEagle data made it clear that I had only examined the worst-hit part of the field. Having the drone examine the whole field made my choice simple and I was confident that I had made the right choice.”
Founded in 2012, AgEagle designs produces, distributes and supports technologically-advanced small unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs or drones) that it supplies to the precision agriculture industry. The company’s line of automated flying drones collects valuable information for farmers by flying over large fields of corn, soybeans, wheat and other types of crops, collecting thousands of ultra-high-resolution pictures using sophisticated near-infrared sensors, or cameras. These aerial images are ultimately utilized to enhance yield and promote sustainability.