Eli Heriges is highly familiar with the pervasive challenges that plague the agriculture profession. As a Consultant Assistant at Crop IMS, an agronomic consulting firm, Eli regularly gathers field intelligence and loans his expertise to farmers looking to understand their fields. Whether doling out product or treatment recommendations or simply aiding in data management, Eli serves as an unbiased second opinion for farmers eager to make timely crop production decisions.
While agriculture has historically been a boots-on-ground operation, Crop IMS first began experimenting with drones in 2020 to expedite their field information accessibility and provide a seamless customer experience. Soon after, the organization joined DroneDeploy to elevate their field consulting with automated stand counts and elevation mapping. Let’s take a look at how Crop IMS is using drone technology today.
Crop Scouting Pre-Drones
Eli tells us that, like most agronomists, Crop IMS utilized manual surveying techniques to gather data in-field. Before using DroneDeploy, the organization used another drone software, but still had to create 4-5 manual points per 100-acre field.
As their average customer manages anywhere from 2,500-8,000 acres by conservative estimates, this resulted in immense labor and time costs. Because their overarching goal is to get information to their customers as quickly as possible for ground truthing, the forward-thinking company sought an all-in-one drone solution to supply and host their data. In 2021, Crop IMS began using DroneDeploy for our stand assessment, elevation, and variability mapping capabilities.
Utilizing Field-Edge Analytics
DroneDeploy is primarily used in conjunction with crop scouting to direct ground truthing for stand counts of large fields (think: 200 acres or more). After a client purchases Eli’s services, he conducts drone-based stand counts each day in the spring, then provides this information to the farmer for operational decision making. “We now have an efficient way to comb through the acres that we service, and collect real-time analytics from the field’s edge,” Eli says.
Whether helping farmers manage irrigation and tile, pest control, or replanting, drone technology expedites these processes with reliable, repeatable data for each client. The organization is looking forward to growing with DroneDeploy and will continue to experiment with the software.