The emphasis in the agricultural drone space lies heavily on conventional, irrigated farming. Most companies are interested in fertilizer application and general indicators of crop health, but we suspected that organic farmers may be able to find some value in UAV collected imagery as well.
Last week the Agribotix crew had the opportunity to fly and spend a day with a large dryland organic farmer and learned a few important lessons about what value we could provide to this segment. I wrote a longer blog post on our website (http://agribotix.com/blog/2014/5/13/uavs-and-organic-farming-lessons-learned), but the lessons learned can be distilled into three points.
1) Perennial weeds are an enormous problem for organic farmers. Knowing field coverage of weeds is very important for their decision making.
2) Water allocation is probably more important than nitrogen in dryland farming. Using imagery and perspiration sensors to benchmark water-saving practices could be tremendously valuable.
3) Nitrogen is generally put back into the soil with crop rotations or manure. Both have their issues and imagery could educate these decisions.