Robby Schoepflin is a pilot and mechanic. He’s flown these fields most of his life. But now he has an additional role—he is a pilot for a company called Measure, which supplies drones for agricultural use. He was tapped for this job by local farmer Robert Blair, whose life in the wheat fields of Idaho has been turned upside down by this new technology—just as the young pilot’s has been.
“If you can identify weeds before the crop canopy is over, then you can make informed management decisions,” Blair said. “Instead of spraying 100 percent of the field, I’m spraying 30 percent, because I’m spraying exactly where it is needed instead of across the whole field. That’s huge—to be able to identify those areas to treat before the treatment takes place.”
Blair estimates that other farmers could lower their chemical application costs by 10 to 25 percent using these tools. That could amount to tens of thousands of dollars in savings on an average-size farm, and reduce chemical runoff into surrounding uncultivated areas. FULL STORY…
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