Not long ago, UAVs were a new technology – admired by many and successfully used by few. Fast forward to today, and drones have found their way onto numerous jobsites, and are successfully being used for numerous applications. However, the story doesn’t end here. In fact, the story of UAV technology on the jobsite likely won’t ever end; instead, it will continue to grow, change, and evolve.
Because of this, RDO Equipment Co. has continued to make significant moves in the UAV space. Our team strives to make the technology and products accessible to more customers, expand offerings to provide more choices, and ensure we’re supporting software solutions that provide more opportunities for our customers to easily manage and use their data. One particular area of focus has been agriculture.
Late last year, RDO Equipment Co. expanded its UAV offerings when it announced its new partnership with Sentera, a UAV-focused company offering image and data solutions for drones. The highlight of this announcement was the addition of the DJI Phantom drone, a quad-copter unit, available at select RDO Equipment Co. stores throughout the country. Read the full news release or watch the video to learn more about the Sentera partnership and products.
Starting this month, RDO Equipment Co. is further expanding UAV offerings by adding to the current lineup of senseFly units to include the new eBee SQ, a drone specifically designed for agriculture. This improved fixed-wing hand-launched drone is capable of 400 acres per flight and carries the popular new Sequoia multispectral sensor. The eBee SQ is capable of infrared and visual spectrum crop inspections simultaneously, and is now available at select RDO Equipment Co. and RDO Integrated Controls stores in all regions. For more info about the senseFly eBee SQ, watch this video.
Meeting the changing needs of customers and an ever-evolving product line doesn’t come without foresight. Looking ahead, the RDO precision agriculture team has five predictions as to what the future holds in UAV technology for farmers.
1. Field Analysis
Continued advancement in field analysis, such as the ability to measure soil characteristics, will allow farmers to make effecting planting and in-season decisions.
2. Water Management
UAV technology has already begun to see use in water management applications, including identifying areas of water stress. Continued growth in this area will offer more in-depth analysis to help with major operational components like precise irrigation scheduling.
3. Crop Health
Evaluating crop health is likely where UAVs will see the most use. Advancements in imaging and analysis will allow growers to identify, assess, and address various crop health issues.
4. Application Technology
While application technology in larger drones is available now, the ability in smaller UAVs is still a few years away. Working prototype systems in development are larger than most existing agriculture drones, which require additional certification to operate.
5. Automated Equipment
In the future, UAV technology will also likely become more integrated with other autonomous equipment. Imagine the efficiency that could be achieved by integrating fully autonomous drones with autonomous tractor technology.
While some of these advancements are likely still a few years from realization, there’s still a lot happening with UAV technology in the present that can significantly impact your business and bottom line. Contact the team at your nearest RDO Equipment Co. or RDO Integrated Controls store to find out more about UAV technology and how it can enhance your current farming operation.
Get more info on precision agriculture offerings from RDO Equipment Co.
See complete UAV products, and learn more about service and support offered from RDO Integrated Controls.