Why Imaging Technology Can’t Replace Scouting Skills

July 23, 2014

You’ve seen UAVs at work and added one to your Christmas list. You’ve mapped out management zones using data from a Veris machine or imagery from a satellite. You have GPS-referenced yield maps and a GreenSeeker in your back pocket. You are the farmer who loves a good gadget and wants imagery to make field scouting easier and more precise. But does this mean you’ll spend less time in the field? Not a chance — and for good reason. No matter how great an image a UAV fly-over provides, the images are just a starting point. The next step is always going to be field scouting.

In this Canola School episode, Angela Brackenreed, agronomy specialist with the Canola Council of Canada, demonstrates how imagery can be interpreted or misinterpreted if not verified by actually walking your fields. She stresses that good scouting skills and agronomic know-how is absolutely necessary for making the most of this new field-imaging technology and how field history can play a role in proper diagnosis. Brackenreed also shows us what farmers at this year’s Crop Diagnostics School held at Carman, Manitoba, found when ground-truthing suspect areas of the field outlined by UAV imagery.

Canola School videos are produced by Real Agriculture.

You can watch all the canola school videos on this website and on Real Agriculture's Canola School page

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