A drone on crop resources

17 March, 2019

​Monitoring the growth patterns of crop plants provides farmers with a strong indication of potential yield, allowing them to tweak crop management to boost production. Now, KAUST researchers have demonstrated that using fixed-wing unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to collect data on vegetation height throughout the crop growth cycle provides a low-cost, simple way of monitoring plant health on a farm-wide scale.

“Farmers routinely have problems identifying areas in their fields that need attention: they cannot see what is happening in a field of 2-meter-high corn that is 800 meters in diameter,” says KAUST Ph.D. student Matteo Ziliani, who worked on the project with colleagues under the supervision of Matthew McCabe.

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Image: Not all plants in a single field grow at the same rate; this image, taken by UAV, demonstrates the variability in plant height and biomass within a small area.
© 2019 HALO Lab KAUST