Unmanned Aerial Vehicles



UAV Benefits

  • Generate business opportunities and potential partnerships that may not otherwise exist
  • Create a brand for your operation to gain a competitive advantage
  • Convey messages more clearly to stakeholders, investors or landholders
  • Showcase your efforts to improve product quality
  • Show compliance with regulations

UAV Challenges

Certification: Although often overlooked, a certification for commercial UAV application is required for commercial UAV applications.

  • Tip: Familiarize yourself with the certification process. Follow all FAA requirements and contact a coordinator if you have questions.

Image quality: Strong marketing images require proper color, focus and lighting.

  • Tip: Understand how you want to use UAV images and, if necessary, consult a marketing professional.

Structures: Gathering still images or video is risky during rapid ascent/descent, quick turns, and operation near obstructions.

  • Tip: Use caution and good judgment! A certified UAV operator has the right and obligation to refuse flight if safety is compromised.


Property image

Flown by Jeff Boyer, Superintendent, Davis PAC

A single-shot image of a farming operation is the most practical first-time use for many UAV operators. These can easily and quickly be turned into marketing assets (i.e., images for a website, social media, lobby display, etc.). An image like this every few years can visualize how the business has grown and is a great keepsake for later generations.

PPAC Farm Operation

Event marketing/planning

Flown by Austin Pearson, Agriculture & Natural Resources Educator, Purdue Extension - Tipton County

Aerial views of large, outdoor events can be helpful in promotion of a company, location or future events. This photo is showcasing the 2019 Manure Management Expo with equipment vendors in the foreground and Fair Oaks Dairy in the background.

aerial view

Flown by John Scott, Digital Agriculture Coordinator, Purdue Extension

A dolly-style movement was captured of the 2019 AgBot Challenge with participants and a quick zoom out to capture the overall competition grounds. This footage can be handy in post-event follow up and future promotion.

Flown by Andrew Westfall, Agriculture & Natural Resources Educator, Purdue Extension - White County

This aerial shot of a field day can be used to promote future events. In this case, we were able to demonstrate the use of a UAV while collecting images to promote later field days. Satellites and airplanes may take similar images but are less flexible and more cumbersome.

Westfall field day

Flown by Austin Pearson, Agriculture & Natural Resources Educator, Purdue Extension - Tipton County

Flight of a pumpkin patch and corn maze. The producer was able to use the pictures to market their farm. The image below is a side shot from a manual UAV flight. Sprayer tracks can be seen in the pumpkin patch (pictured left).

Pumpkin Corn Maze

Purdue football

Flown by John Scott, Digital Agriculture Coordinator, Purdue Extension – Purdue campus

An aerial image of Ross-Ade Stadium during the 2019 football season aids mainly in turf management but could also be used in Purdue Athletic promotions. A time lapse could easily be created to show the field all season long then turned into a promotional video.

Here is an example image that could be adapted for marketing purposes.

Purdue football field

Purdue Student Farm virtual tour

Flown by Ashley Adair, Purdue Extension Organic Agriculture Specialist

With in-person events cancelled during the height of COVID-19 (and then beyond), and no outreach opportunities for farmers or students to do field trips to the Student Farm, a virtual tour was created entirely from the air using the Phantom 4 Pro. The virtual tour shows the various permanent parts of the farm (building, bees, high tunnels) and shows off the “temporary” rotations of research crops and food crops. Now that things are beginning to open up again, this video still has value as both a marketing and education tool.

Air show

Flown by John Scott, Digital Agriculture Coordinator, Purdue Extension – Purdue campus

Images were taken during an airshow in Logansport, Indiana to help showcase drone uses and for future marketing of the event. Visitors were taken on rides and several aircraft were on display.

High School senior parking lot

Flown by Bryan Overstreet, Agriculture & Natural Resources Educator, Purdue Extension - Jasper County

An aerial image was taken of a senior parking lot and used on the high school's website.


Professional group photos

Flown by John Scott, Digital Agriculture Extension Coordinator, Purdue Extension

Professional photos can be taken of groups at retreats or at business locations to commemorate an event or for their company website. Pictured below is the Purdue Food Science department from their retreat taken with a DJI Phantom 4 Pro.

Group photo