Early signs of plant damage show up in chlorophyll, the energy-making factory for plants, which could be captured in drone airplane imagery.

Drones are also a potentially major component of the expanding Green Industry in agriculture.

More precise imagery could also allow farmers to tie aerial imagery to GPS guided sprayers and better target pesticides just to the plants that need them, reducing how much ends up in the environment or even our food and water supply.

Drones are the most likely vehicles to acquire remote sensing information that companies like DuPont Pioneer are promoting.

A recent corporate release from DuPont Pioneer defines remote sensing as “collecting information about objects (e.g., soil or crop surfaces) from remote platforms like satellites, aircraft or ground-based booms.”  

“Remote sensing involves the collection and analysis of reflected light and is a potentially important source of data for making site-specific crop management decisions,” says John Shanahan, DuPont Pioneer agronomy research manager.

He adds that remote sensing tools can provide information not only about spatial variability within fields, but also changes in crop conditions throughout the growing season.

This year DuPont Pioneer is providing remote sensing imagery services to growers though Pioneer Field 360 services. 

Images in this program can be used to develop management zone-directed soil samplingschemes, validating hybrid tests or evaluating other agronomic practices on your farm. Imagery does not replace the need for crop scouting. Instead, it directs growers to areas of the field that require ground evaluation.