Spray drones are alleviating the pain points of crop spray applications, building job opportunities with small, rural businesses, and creating on-farm revenue for the next generation of farmers.
Scouting drones are strengthening relationships and delivering new and on-going management opportunities to farms across the country, taking the tedious and labor-intensive human-element out of crop scouting through advanced imaging.
“Drones help agronomists scout more acres with more detail, more quickly, and with that information they can help farmers make faster, more accurate management decisions,” says Mike DiPaola, chief commercial officer for Taranis, who adds that those timely insights make a real difference in performance profitability.
Since introducing high-resolution scouting as a service in the U.S. in 2020, Westfield, Indiana-based Taranis has helped to build relationships between farmers and their trusted advisors through drone technology.
Using a fleet of DJI Matrice 300 (M300) drones, the retail agronomists Taranis partners with can capture ultra-high-resolution imagery that provides a leaf-level view of any plant in the field. These images are then analyzed by Taranis’ AI platform that leverages machine learning and computer vision to identify actionable insights at scale. These insights not only deliver opportunity for in-season management, but a record of anomaly that a farmer can look back on in future years to assess and make management decisions.
“What happens when you have a picture and an understanding of the threats and the start that each field gets,” DiPaola asks. “Sure, it will make a farm more efficient and treatment more effective, but it’s deeper than that. When you have good information and good content to back it up, it brings people together, and that’s really what makes Taranis unique. We’re creating prosperity.”
The technology only needs the planting date and field boundaries and can collect data on thousands of acres daily. The imagery that is captured is so high-resolution, it can capture insects and insect damage on a single leaf and allow an agronomist to easily distinguish between a crop plant and weed to make better sense of NDVI imaging.
DiPaola says that Taranis delivers value to growers through unbiased, actionable insights, more efficient resource use, healthier crops that provide higher yield potential, and an overall better year-round planning opportunity. And that the artificial intelligence the company has developed is not only industry-leading but the unique piece of the service that truly delivers efficiency and economic benefit to farmers.
“What good are pictures if you can’t do anything with them?” he asks.
“The driving force behind Taranis is the marketplace to train artificial intelligence that was created. We use hundreds of agronomists worldwide to train our artificial intelligence, computer vision, and that means that of these millions of pictures taken over millions of acres, information is tagged and each insight is annotated so I can tell you how many plants are there, which weeds are there, how many plants are in defoliation and what nutrient deficiencies are present – that’s what the artificial intelligence platform does for farmers,” he says. “We have centimeter and sub-millimeter leaf-level capture every time we’re over a field.”
This article was featured in Seed World: https://seedworld.com/drones-provide-valuable-roi-in-the-field/.
Understanding your harvest results is crucial for optimizing future crop inputs and farming practices. Now that the combines are winding down, take a moment to reflect on your harvest. Here are some questions to consider when evaluating your harvest results:
Experience. It’s a word you’ll hear Nutrien Sales Manager Brian Essinger use frequently. As a training pillar, Essinger says he cannot stress enough the importance of experience.
If you’re a fan of TikTok, Tyler Tobald of JTAC Farms does a great job of breaking through the marketing to give honest on-farm reviews. The young musician-turned-farmer lends a unique perspective to his family’s farming operation that includes capitalizing on out-of-the-box opportunities and practices with a focus on technology.
“Dr. TikTok,” as our host, Mike DiPaola, Chief Commercial Officer, jokingly refers to Tobald, has been making waves on the social channels and, in doing so, inadvertently sharing a message that is near and dear to the Taranis mission: making agriculture better by bringing small communities together through information and using service to bring people closer.