Thermal camera and agriculture - RC Groups
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Oct 03, 2017, 11:02 AM
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Thermal camera and agriculture


Can someone explain to me the benefits of thermal imaging in agriculture? Or direct me to some resources? I am very interested in thermal imaging and will most likely be purchasing a thermal camera soon. Just curious how to apply it to agricultural work. I'm in Washington state where agriculture has boomed on certain levels due to some changes in state law. These new farmers, I am finding, are generally younger and very involved with modern technology. I have one "farmer" that's just chomping at the bit to pay me to fly his property, I just need a tangible product to sell.
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Oct 03, 2017, 01:47 PM
ʇsol
vulturetec's Avatar
Not thermal... near-infrared (NIR) imagery can be used to analyze crop health in many ways.

This was a good webinar on the subject. Maybe you can download it:
http://www.insidegnss.com/node/5371
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Oct 05, 2017, 12:55 AM
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Beerwiser's Avatar
Check out flightriot.com. Brendon has done some fantastic work with NIR and at mapping. As a farmer myself, I still don't see the cost /benefit on some of the lower valued crops. If you want to start off small and cheaply, fly his property in spring and show him all the wet spots.
Oct 05, 2017, 10:40 AM
ʇsol
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In some areas they use satellite based imagery for large-scale work. Others use full-scale aircraft. Prior to going digital the cost of flying sites twice with IR and color film was quite high, typically the projects were government-related.

The idea of doing crop/ag work with digital was suggested when we transitioned away from film many years ago, but I just haven't seen a localized market for it that pays anything. One customer wanted some crops done earlier this year, but the prices they were willing to pay would have barely covered the fuel/operational costs; the amount of driving involved wouldn't have made hauling a drone around a whole lot better.
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Oct 05, 2017, 02:18 PM
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Yeah that's too bad. There's a whole new market there, just how to tap it. Just cool pics it is lol.
Thanks for the input. It seems there could be a market for inspections using thermal imagery but I can't imagine that if big outfits like PUD were interested that they wouldn't just take care of it in house.
Oct 05, 2017, 06:39 PM
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Like most of the ag industry, the guys willing to pay for services like you want to get into will end up buying their own stuff. The smaller operators that are interested usually get scared off by the cost benefit aspect since you still need to make money too. It is a very fine line and margins are thin as it is in ag. Any custom service in ag is a gamble.
Oct 14, 2017, 04:48 PM
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FutureVRPilot's Avatar
I love this gamble for Ag. Did grapes here in Sonoma CA. first year. Did good , did I make money no,, not really, but I learned a lot on the process. streamed line it . I believe I can make a little money at $ 2.00 per acre. NOW ,,, we are in the middle of the fire, went around us 3 miles away. I have been home with no power all week wetting yard, ashes everywhere.
Oct 14, 2017, 05:21 PM
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You should do well with vineyards and other high value crops, I was referring to the low value crops. Hopefully the fire gets under control, looks pretty bad from the little bit I saw. Luckily the fire went around you.
Oct 14, 2017, 07:07 PM
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Communication was down and my Solo I would send up 25 feet above my property line of trees and what the hell the wall of flames where coming at us, flames going hundreds of feet in the air on my tablet screen. told wife and son GET READY,, then we watched it go east over the hills and south to the town of Sonoma east side.. SUCKS no power for a week.. O ha I flew for the safety of the neighborhood, checked for and NO aircraft where in the sky. everyone left but 4 family's including us.. I new this was going to happen. A lot of dead trees over the last 5 years with the drought . my back yard was going to get some tree cutting this fall SCARY....
Oct 14, 2017, 07:08 PM
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A rented Generator is running the house.
Oct 14, 2017, 07:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beerwiser
You should do well with vineyards and other high value crops, I was referring to the low value crops. Hopefully the fire gets under control, looks pretty bad from the little bit I saw. Luckily the fire went around you.
Thanks... I like to hear that with vineyards , I believe I can make this work,, even with the fires, I was just working on a portfolio to get another client, and grow this business. Well, we will see .........
Oct 15, 2017, 11:15 AM
ʇsol
vulturetec's Avatar
That's probably the kind of niche market that can make this work. We're on the other end of the spectrum. The last inquiry I had required calibrated lens/camera for mapping, georeferenced color+nir imagery, flown as often as once a week - for less than $.50/acre.

That's the kind of thing they're asking for here...using any form of drone doesn't make sense for the market.
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Oct 16, 2017, 07:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vulturetec
That's probably the kind of niche market that can make this work. We're on the other end of the spectrum. The last inquiry I had required calibrated lens/camera for mapping, georeferenced color+nir imagery, flown as often as once a week - for less than $.50/acre.

That's the kind of thing they're asking for here...using any form of drone doesn't make sense for the market.


What Ag. are you looking into where your at...
Oct 18, 2017, 01:56 PM
ʇsol
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FutureVRPilot
What Ag. are you looking into where your at...
We're just capable of providing the service, I'm not marketing for anything specific - so it's whatever the market needs. We've done blueberries, citrus, sugar cane, and some other stuff. I think some of it could be flown fairly efficiently with fixed-wing platforms, but most of the sites are too big for UAV flying to make sense.
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Oct 18, 2017, 03:32 PM
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Beerwiser's Avatar
That would be neat to see, I have never seen any of those crops before. Care to share a couple of random pics?


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