Earlier this month, Measure, a major drone operator, released the a Drone Flight Calculator to assist farmers with assessing the value of using their “Drone as a Service” in their agriculture operations. The web-based calculator comes out of a study and flight operations conducted with the American Farm Bureau Federation in 2015. The app, which is free, allows farmers to input data such as fertilizer use, farm size, and crop type to see how drones can improve operations and cut costs.
“The Drone Flight Calculator allows farmers to easily determine if drone technology can improve their operations,” said Measure CEO Brandon Torres Declet. “While drones have been marketed to farmers, until today no tool existed to help growers quickly and easily calculate the benefits of drones.”
The American Farm Bureau Federation recognized early that precision agriculture and drones in particular are an important to the future of farming, but the relevant data has not been available until now. The Drone Flight Calculator quantifies the economic benefits of Drone as a Service® for any type of scouting including crops such as soy, corn, or grapes. Once farm-specific data is entered, the Calculator provides economic returns on a per acre and per growing season basis. Farmers can also learn how much they can expect to save on inputs such as fertilizer and irrigation.
In July 2015, Measure and the American Farm Bureau Federation released a study identifying the broader benefits of drone technology in precision agriculture. The study highlighted the best use cases for drones such as field scouting, 3D terrain mapping, and crop insurance. The study was sponsored by a number of industry leading companies such as PepsiCo, Archer Daniels Midland (ADM), Richardson International, and Lockheed Martin.
The calculator assumes use of the Drone as a Service model, an outsource solution for drone services. Other solutions exist; but the calculator can provide some insight to farmers evaluating the use of this technology.
You can find Measure’s drone flight calculator here.