Farm and Ranch May 2018

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“The drone market is estimated to be an $8 billion market,” said the school’s Director of Technology Greg Gunderson. “Ag is pro- jected to be 80 percent of that total market in the future.” “You set up the flight plan ahead of time by drawing a box around the area you want to fly in,” Gunderson said. School-issued Chromebooks are used to create the flight plan. For launch and during the flight, the DroneDeploy software acts as an autopilot for the UAV as it tracks back and forth across a

field in a pattern called “mow the lawn.” On a typical flight, the UAV will take about 500 high-resolution still images. The system requires internet access because it uses cloud-based pro- cessing for the images. “The drone can shoot video and pictures, but DroneDeploy just uses pictures,” Gunderson said. “It stitches them all together to create the image.” IPad minis act as the controllers for the UAVs, which can also be operated with any smartphone loaded with the software.

By DAN MUNDT BH News Service

DENISON, Iowa — Students in Dana Weeda’s agronomy class at Denison High School in western Iowa are getting a chance to use technology that has only recently emerged in the agriculture sec- tor. The school recent- ly purchased two unmanned aerial vehi- cles, or “drones,” along with software that al- lows the machines’ users to scout farm fields from the air. chased from Case IH through Vetter Equipment of Denison. The UAVs were pur-

BH News Servic From left, Denison (Iowa) High School Principal Dave Wiebers, studen Parker Wessel, Nic Rosener of Vetter Equipment and students Austin Frees and Conner Reimer watch as they launch a UAV.

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