Drones on the Farm

Drones on the Farm

At J.D. Russell Hay and Straw, nothing stands still for long. Hay and straw is made and put in the barns in the summer only to be shipped back out again. Equipment is pulled in the shop, serviced, adjusted, and tweaked to be more efficient in the fields. Even our technology changes as new ideas are tested.

One of the newest additions to our line of equipment is our drone, a DJI Phantom 4. Although it is a fun little gadget, it has proved to be very useful in many capacities around the farm.

Uses for the Drone

The drone takes amazing 4K pictures and video, as seen throughout our website, to help show our existing and potential customers what we are all about.

Picture taken by the drone

Although we have detailed drawings of tile locations for many of our fields, some fields pose some questions as to where tiles are and if they are all working. We have used the drone to capture images of these fields as they dry off to see where the existing tile is and the areas where more tile may be needed.

Existing Field Tile as Seen from Above

The drone also comes in handy right after we add more tile to a field. By taking pictures of the tiles from above, we can create accurate tile maps to be used in the future.

New Tile Added to a Field

After a few years, our hay fields can start declining in number of plants still surviving. We have used the drone to get a good snapshot of a field to determine if it is more economical to tear it up and start a grain rotation, or to leave it in hay for another year.

Drone is Used to Determine Existing Plant Population

Learning to fly the drone and discovering new uses for it has been an adventure. Being able to take good, quality pictures and videos takes practice, but we are getting better at it with every flight. However, sometimes things just don’t go right. Luckily, nothing was damaged!

Stay tuned for more drone pictures and videos as we make our way through our first year of flying.