Unmanned Aerial System Lands at Our Farm

Utilizing a UAS on the farm this spring will be a learning experience.

Published on: Apr 15, 2014

You might recall my article from January, "UAS: Aerial Craft On Our Farm," where I discussed the probability of our family purchasing and operating an unmanned aerial system:

"In all reality I am not sure on this farm how fast it would pay for itself.  I have never been one to be on the cutting edge of technology – I just traded in my flip phone last year for a smart phone. For now, this farm is in a "holding pattern," although this co-pilot is still begging."

Well, the begging and pleading, (I mean the advantages that I was constantly pointing out to my husband, Chris), did not fall on deaf ears.  Cole, my 11-year-old and chief pilot, and I ordered a system and have had so much fun learning how to fly and the advantages of having our own.

A different view:  We have lots of pictures of Campbell Grain & Livestocks headquarters. I cant wait to see this view with leaves on the trees and green grass.
A different view: We have lots of pictures of Campbell Grain & Livestock's 'headquarters'. I can't wait to see this view with leaves on the trees and green grass.

The amazing photography just fascinates me. The system we ordered carries a GoPro camera – smaller than a smartphone – that captures high-quality images and video.  I am so excited for the grass to green up and fields to have crops growing so there are more reasons to fly.

Lately our flight sessions have been for practice, both with the UAS itself and learning to use the gimbal and camera. Learning the rules and staying safe are most important elements of UAS operation for us right now.  We want to be in control of the ship in a safe manner and fly at a safe height at all times.

The camera and the gimbal system also have a learning curve. Making sure the camera is in the right position for the photograph or video you are aiming for as well as setting the camera in the best modes for the job isn't easy. Since aiming the camera is remote control, this has been a bit challenging for me. I am more of a "hands-on" kind of gal.

Even Chris is coming around.  At least twice a week he will come in and ask that we fly over something to get him a better angle and view.  We have been flying over our winter wheat weekly. It allows us to check the stand, check for any disease and for uniform growth.

We are very excited to see the potential this piece of equipment has for our farm – and it is a lot of fun!

Related:
What to Call Aerial Technology is an Issue
UAS: A New Tool for Ag
UAS: Big Benefits for Farming Operations
UAS: Know the Laws for Aerial Devices on Farms
UAS: Options and Costs of New Farm Technology