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  • By Lynda Kiernan-Stone, Global AgInvesting Media

Drones Could Save Farmers Millions, Says New Study

The Farm Bureau, Informa Economics, and Measure Drone Service have completed a study that quantifies the benefits of drone use in the production of corn, wheat, and soybeans.

Study results indicate that corn producers are likely to reap the biggest reward from drone technology, with savings that average $11.58 per acre, followed by wheat and soybean producers with savings of $2.57 and $2.28, respectively. Meanwhile, the aerial technology may contribute to yield increases of 3.3 percent for wheat and 2.5% for corn and soybean.

The web-based Return on Investment (ROI) Calculator quantifies the economic advantages of drone use across the three applications of field crop scouting, 3D terrain mapping, and crop insurance allowing growers to easily determine if drone technology would be economically beneficial to their operation based on farm data entered into the application.

“While lots of drone hardware has been sold to farmers, until today, no tool existed to help growers actually quantify whether the benefits exceed their costs, especially when farmers want to outsource these types of services,” said Justin Oberman, president of Measure. “This tool will help growers understand how drone technology can improve their performance for the benefit of consumers in the U.S. and around the world.”

Precision agriculture and drone technology will play key roles in producing more food from the same, or less acreage while still protecting the environment. The ROI Calculator will help farmers and ranchers in the process of adopting the technology and applying it to their operations.

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