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As harvest starts to ramp up across Iowa, many people will be evaluating their crop scouting activities from 2021 and starting to make plans for 2022.

The use of aerial imagery in production agriculture has continued to grow and evolve over the last several years since its debut on the market. With significant changes in how imagery is captured and processed and the quality of images available, there are now many applications for this technology on farms.

With many choices available for capturing aerial imagery, it’s important to understand the differences and applications to help you make the best decisions for your operation.

Monday’s derecho event took a toll on crops across Iowa. Satellite imagery shows millions of acres of Iowa crops impacted by the high wind events. As growers dig out from the destruction left after the storm, decisions regarding how to manage the impacted crop will be front and center.

Drone activity in agriculture continues to increase, and the aerial imagery generated can provide unique insight throughout the crop production season. Over the past decade the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has continued to evolve the requirements for the operation of small unmanned aerial systems (sUAS, UAS, UAV or drones) to create a reasonable legal pathway for use in agriculture.

As spring leads into summer, don’t forget to consider aerial imaging as part of a continuous improvement plan for crop production. Remote sensing and the use of aerial imagery has been used for decades in agriculture, but we’ve seen the number of imagery providers grow extensively since 2010.

As spring plans are finalized, don’t forget to consider aerial imaging as part of a continuous improvement plan. Remote sensing and the use of aerial imagery has been used for decades in agriculture but since 2010 we’ve seen the number of available imagery providers grow extensively