5 Ways Drones Can Make Your Agribusiness More Profitable
All of us have been privy to the drone industry ascension and its numerous benefits for multiple industries and verticals. It’s going to keep on growing and keep developing ways of making things less expensive and more profitable in the long run. In this piece, I will speak about how Drone Services Canada Inc. was able to help its agricultural client’s farm become more profitable.
VERTICAL: Precision Agriculture
CLIENT: John ~ Small Family Farmer
John was born and raised on a farm near Woodstock, ON. His parents first grew Tabaco in the fields all the time he was growing up and then slowly transitioned to wheat, corn, and soy. Back in the day, farming was a great way to make a living and although it was hard work, it was a good honest living and provided John a great childhood. When John was about 32, his father requested he step in and take over the business. This is when John realized how much things had changed and how difficult it was going to be to remain competitive in this industry and actually turn a profit.
Here were some of John’s challenges:
- He felt he was competing with larger agribusinesses that were well versed in the technological advancements in equipment and operational processes.
- The size of his farm, 50 acres, meant he had to hire a great number of seasonal employees and that wasn’t always easy to accomplish.
- Trying to figure out how his fields were doing on a regular basis by having employees scout the fields was proving to be time-consuming and costly.
- Analyzing his soil and figuring out which spots were best for planting was also a main concern.
- Pest control and being able to catch invasions in a timely manner was a huge challenge as well and created much of John’s frustrations.
So, we met with John and took the time to review his challenges and struggles and came up with a plan that would provide him with the savings he needed to be profitable and the data he required to make sound economic decisions that would help his operations become more profitable as well as cost-efficient.
Here are the top 5 ways we were able to make John’s Agribusiness more profitable:
1) CROP SCOUTING
Using our drone, we were able to survey his entire 50 acres farm in only a few hours at a fraction of the cost and time it would have taken using employees or surveyors, which is what he was doing prior to meeting DSCI.
2) AERIAL PHOTOGRAPHY/VIDEOGRAPHY
Using the drone’s camera capabilities, we were able to gather aerial photography & videography of his fields and entire business at a cost that was much lower than having to higher a pilot and helicopter to fly over his farm, which is what his dad had done a few years back and it had cost him serious dollars to do so. We did it for a fraction of the costs and created a promotional video of his agribusiness that he later used to promote his business at tradeshows and online.
3) SOIL MAPPING
Using our drone’s camera and software capabilities, we collected valuable data to create GIS surveys and NDVI mapping that helped John optimize his fields by allowing him to plant in the areas best suited for the crops he wanted to plant to turn the best profit. He was able to detect which area of his field had the healthiest soil and which areas had the potential for diseases to settle in. Being able to have this quality data available to him so quickly made smart decision making a breeze.
4) DIGITAL ELEVATION MAPPING
Using our software, we were able to use the data collected by our drone to deliver a Digital Elevation Map to John so that he could see the topographic movement of the water, soil, and fertilizer within his field and easily manage and plan the most efficient drainage system for the best crop yield. Again, having this quality data available to John really helped him understand the way his fields naturally work and the best way to optimize their operation to gain the best results for his crop.
5) ORTHOMOSAIC IMAGING
With the high-resolution aerial mapping we had collected, we were able to compile the data and deliver a series of Orthomosaic imaging which again, served to help John the health of his existing crops and be able to optimize the yield on them.
Overall, the time and money we saved John’s business by using one of our drones to fly over his fields for less than 2 hours are remarkable in his eyes. The immense satisfaction we felt when we delivered all the data and reporting to John was palpable. To see him so excited about getting all the information he now had to work with to help him make his farm more competitive and profitable was immeasurable. It is always so fulfilling to be part of a business that brings quality deliverables for a fraction of the costs it used to cost our customers to get. We know we add value to their business and directly impact their bottom line and that is a great feeling.
Here’s what John had to say about his experience with Drone Services Canada:
“When I first called them for a free estimate, I was skeptical about the value of drones and how I could benefit from what they had to offer. To me, drones were toys, nothing more. But after being around Eric & Michael and seeing how professional they were and how knowledgeable they were about my business and how the data they were collecting would help me make my business more profitable, I started to pay attention. They really put my mind at ease. They asked me about my business and were earnest to learn about my challenges. They flew for a few hours and left. A few days later, they delivered all the goods and I was absolutely blown away by the quality of the images and reporting. I really had no idea how significant this data would be. It has helped me make better decisions and feel so much more confident about the future of our family business. I would highly recommend working with this team of professionals because they have such a sincere approach and they deliver quality work!”