I know in my last post I talked about spending some time flushing out the many and various thoughts pertaining to the complex world of South Africa. And, I will, but it will take a while, and in the meantime, there are other noteworthy things happening that I get excited about so for now I am going to put the South Africa conversation on hold.
Today I want to share about the Farm Show that was held in my community of Fairfield, Iowa this past weekend. And, more specifically, about the drone they had on display. Now, unfortunately I didn’t get to see the thing fly, but I did get to see it up close and personal and let me tell you, that thing is COOL. It looks like a cross between a UFO, a roomba (robotic vacuum cleaner) and a blender. I don’t know what all drones look like, but this one had six blades on it that propel it “helicopter-style” through the air. It follows a path charted for it using GPS. It can take off, take pictures of crops, and land, without a human even touching it. Crazy….
The price tag? Yeah, it’s steep – upwards of $20,000 or more. The bulk of that hefty cost is on account of the sophisticated software which translate the images of the land. And those images provide copious amounts of information about the land and the crops on it.
The guy who was selling the drones gave this example: a farmer had purchased one, flew it over all the fields he farmed, and determined, from the reports of the drone, that when the anhydrous had been applied by a local seed store, one tube had been plugged and therefore short-changed the farmer 1/16 of his anhydrous. The savings for recouping that loss was triple what the farmer had paid for the drone.
It’s exciting to see how technology is crossing paths with farming, increasing efficiencies, which in the long run, will prove better for the land because more informed decisions can be made.
If you have the chance, look up a picture of a drone online. It’s literally the new “up” and coming thing in agriculture.
Enjoy the beautiful weather!