Drone Technology for Ag Retailers

By Natasha Lilly, Effingham Equity

[Note: The Communications Committee invites members to share news about technology their companies are putting in place that might be of interest to others at AgGateway. Following is a contribution from Effingham Equity on its use of drone technology. If you would like to make a contribution, simply email us at with the Subject line: “Newsletter Contribution”.]

As an ag retailer, it is so important to stay on top of the latest innovation. If you cannot provide your customers with the latest tools and data analytics, you are at risk of losing them. The agriculture industry is experiencing declining margins and this means it is imperative that we deliver as much information to the growers as possible for them to make each acre profitable. Drone technology is one way to bring them timely answers and allow them to make decisions based upon insights, data and imagery. However, a key part in using a drone as a tool is the software that powers it.

Drones are used to take a series of aerial images to assess the health of the crops. Identifications of pests, disease or other damage allows growers to act quickly and take the appropriate actions. Limiting infestations at the start and stopping them in their tracks can have a huge impact on overall yields.

The agricultural world is not just buzzing about drone technology, but also return on investment (ROI). Crop inspection on-foot can get very costly, calls for many resources, and cannot be done quickly or accurately. With Agrible’s Pocket Drone Control TM technology, we can simply swipe on an iPad or iPhone to automatically generate a flight plan or launch the drone. When the drone completes the mission, the images immediately process on our devices, enabling us to assess and classify damage. Then, the data uploads to Agrible’s Morning Farm Report TM where we can access our customer’s fields to view the imagery, current weather conditions and drone flight conditions.

The Equity has recently purchased Crop Copter TM drones for each of its locations. We are now equipped and prepared to fly fields for growers. We feel that we have chosen two great partners and can provide state-of-the art imagery, that will bring a strong ROI our growers are seeking.