Aerial Detective

Melissa SandfortGeneral

OptiGro imageryFarmers interested in applying variable rates of crop inputs based on current crop conditions have another service option, courtesy of John Deere Agri Services’ new OptiGro Imaging System.

The OptiGro system features a proprietary combination of high-tech automated cameras, custom software and the Web to deliver digital color and near-infrared images. Images are shot from a small airplane; the pilot focuses on flying, since the cameras are automated. The on-board computer helps direct the pilot’s flight path and captures differential GPS data, which is imbedded in the images. This allows the imagery to be used as the basis of a variable-rate application map. Using airplanes instead of satellites provides more flexibility to capture images when conditions are right and allows various image resolutions, depending on customer needs.

Content and full story courtesy of Farm Industy News.