Automated Weed Detection With Drones

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The most vital factor in weed management? Successful detection. How can drones fly to the rescue?

Weeds have proven to be a massive agricultural pain point regardless of where you farm. Historically, weed detection involved visual inspection and manual crop scouting. Such approach deemed greatly inefficient and time-consuming for farmers managing vast arable lands. With the advent of drones and advanced data analysis, weed detection can now be done in a seamless and automated manner with PrecisionHawk’s new Weed Pressure analysis tool.

 

How does it work?

The Weed Pressure algorithm analyzes high resolution drone data to generate a weed pressure map, giving farmers a weed pressure index (ranging from 0 – 20) along with the percentage of weeds dispersed across the entire survey area.

What type of equipment do you need?

The algorithm ingests multispectral data (BGNIR) with a resolution of at least 5 cm/pixel. Farmers who own PrecisionHawk’s Smarter Farming package, for example, will have all the hardware and software requirements necessary to successfully run the Weed Pressure analysis tool.

 

Why is it important?

Weed presence reduces overall agricultural output, thereby reducing total productivity and ROI. Weeds compete with healthy crops for essential resources such as space, water, nutrients, light and carbon dioxide. Farmers spend thousands on weed management annually using chemicals and herbicides that also compromise the quality of healthy crops. By using the weed pressure analysis tool, growers will be able to determine exactly where weeds are more prevalent, thereby allowing them to employ more targeted and strategic management techniques.

 

When can you use it?

Pre-emergence. The Weed Pressure app works great early in the agricultural season as it helps the farmer ensure that his field is devoid of unwanted vegetation before planting.

Post-emergence. A weed pressure survey can be carried out multiple times throughout the course of the growing season to make sure crops are growing at a healthy and uniform rate. By ensuring that weeds are identified and managed accordingly, farmers have a higher likelihood of meeting their targets during harvest.

To get started, sign up for a free PrecisionMapper account to transform your drone images into actionable reports, create 2D and 3D maps, and access an entire library of crop health tools: http://www.precisionhawk.com/precisionmapper