In-field Conservation

UAV Benefits

  • Quickly evaluate the impact of implemented conservation practices
  • Map conservation structures and retain photographic record of performance. over time
  • Quickly identify conservation system issues at a large scale in order to manage and mitigate environmental impacts
  • Obtain photographic documentation of conservation field practices

UAV Challenges

Timing: Flying conservation systems, specifically cover crops, is done primarily outside of the growing season and requires time usually not spent in the field.

  • Tip: Knowing when to fly in the fall, winter and spring is important. The best time to fly is with little to no other vegetation growing.

Clouds: Broken skies can ruin image quality.

  • Tip: Fly when skies are fully overcast or clear for optimal image quality.

Camera settings: Incorrect settings can affect image quality.

  • Tip: It takes a little experience. Familiarize yourself with general camera settings and know the goals of each particular flight.

In-field Conservation Examples

Image of cereal rye was plantation
Prevent plant cover crop performance

In 2019, this producer took preventative planting due to wet spring conditions...

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Image of cereal rye was plantation divided by areas
Conventional vs. cover crop in soybeans

These flights evaluate conventional management with no-till cover crop management...

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Image of a field cover crop application methods and timing of those applications
Cover crop planting method comparison

Different cover crop application methods and timing of those applications were evaluated at Ivy...

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Image of a giant ragweed in cover crops
Giant ragweed in cover crops

In addition to the cover crop comparison above, some strips of cereal rye/hairy vetch were...

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Image of crops cover crop mixtures
Preliminary cover crop data collection to serve as a performance model

The map below was created a few days after spring termination of the cover crop. Treatments...

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Image of a sinterseed cover corn crops at planting
Cover crop interseed demonstration

A local producer wanted to interseed cover crops at planting time to maximize benefits and was...

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Image of a drone spreading crops
Drone cover crop seeding

A DJI Agras was used to spread cover crops over standing soybeans. Cover crop mixes varied and...

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Image of a crop health map, measure the depth of a grassed waterway
Strawberry planting

Stitching software can measure the depth of a grassed waterway to determine both water capacity...

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