AWC - Funded Research

Performance and cost of field scouting for weeds and diseases using imagery obtained with an unmanned aerial vehicle

AWC contribution: $5,500


Civilian uses for Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) are rapidly expanding as the technology is becoming more affordable. Today’ s most common UAVs for professional use are capable of payloads of 1-5 kg, have flight times of 15-30 min. and ranges around 1.5 km. These characteristics make them ideal for deployment at a quarter section scale. Because of this crop scouting has been proposed as a potential application, but experimental data is needed to verify its potential feasibility and accuracy.


  1. To develop a protocol to acquire and process high resolution aerial imagery for the purpose of disease and weed scouting with the use of an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV)
  2. To compare accuracy and cost of field scouting performed with conventional methods and scouting based on aerial imagery obtained with UAV technology

Benefit to producers:

This research project will test the implementation of UAV based crop scouting technology and add UAV based mapping as a source of information for precision agriculture. The intended outcomes are to improve disease and weed management through timely and site specific information, identify opportunities for further development of UAV applications in agriculture and generate new research and development for cost effective pest surveillance applications.

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