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Farming Skyview

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Dorsetman, Aug 4, 2014.

  1. Dorsetman

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    I am interested in starting a network in the UK for drone pilots to be service to farming. I am a county coordinator for FACE (Farming and Countryside Education). We bring farms and schools together for landscape education. Using a drone adds enormous value to the resources we produce for schools with the aerial photography and video of crops, livestock and machinery. Farmers have also benefited by seeing their crops from the air, watching livestock movement, even wildlife. They have been able to estimate yield levels and see the various soils, drainage and weed growth and so be able to manage fertilizer and spray regimes; all at very low cost to them.
    There are many commercial businesses offering drone observation; some with spectrum cameras and other expensive equipment. These are no-doubt very useful but come at a cost. Often, farmers just want to see normal sky views and this is where the idea for a Farming Skyview comes in; where you come in.
    I bought my Phantom 2 and the Gopro Black Hero 3 and discovered a whole new world of photographic possibilities and have really enjoyed flying the 'copter. I live in the country in Dorset, I do not want to film houses and invade privacy etc. and since we have beautiful landscapes, I have been flying and filming over farms. Well that is fun but I have realized that I can still have fun and also provide a service to farmers. I now fly with added value because my hobby is useful.
    I have looked into the commercial side and have decided that this is not for me as I do not want to buy a commercial license and start a business as such so what I now do is ask a farmer to cover my travel to his farm at a given rate and while I am there, I film for free.
    The trouble is that I have had requests to go to farms that are really too far away so I thought that if other drone pilots joined a network which I am happy to coordinate, then pilots local to a particular farm could be contacted through the network and thereby have a reason to fly and film.
    I will set up a website for this and offer pilots the opportunity to post their farming skyview films as a useful resource for other pilots and farmers.
    If you would like to be a part of the Farming Skyview Network and you think you would enjoy going to farms and flying your drones for good reason, then get in touch and I will add you to the list. I have not thought of rules and regulations as this is purely amateur although there should be a code of agreed conduct that we sign up to as I would not like to cause any offense. We would also have to consider a safety code thinking of overhead cables etc. and weather.
    To be added to the database, just send me your contact details whatever they may be and also give information about your drone and the camera etc. The beauty of a forum of course is that we can pool ideas and may even be able to influence prices when it comes to purchasing upgrades and new equipment. First things first though; say what you think and we will go from there. I have been thinking of just England to begin with but this will no-doubt go where the wind takes it. You should not have to worry about farm contacts as these will be found through the NFU so essentially this will be a drone-dating agency; a farmer contacts Farming Skyview asking for pictures and we put them in touch with the local pilot.
    Best wishes
    Adrian
     
  2. MStacey

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    Interesting idea and perhaps one to be explored further.
     
  3. discv

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    Yes, a good idea all round.

    Just one thought. Jo Public tends to view 'drones' as bad news. You may find the project easier to sell if you chose a softer word/s-
    Quad/Quadcopter/Flying Camera/Multicopter etc.
     
  4. Dorsetman

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    Re: Farming Skyview Thanks for the start

    Hi thanks for the replies. Good start. I will need email contacts and mobiles if you are happy to give them. I can then contact you directly as well as through the forum.
    Thank you Dave for a look at your pictures. We were near Lake Trasamene at the same time and I have good pictures of Pienza etc. Sadly, I did not have a drone there..
    Should Farming Skyview be a separate section? If so how do I do this? I have the web address now ; www.farmingskyview.co.uk but nothing there yet obviously.
    Best wishes
    Adrian
     
  5. Dorsetman

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    Thank you. Good idea not to make farmers think they are about to be invaded I suppose so should I just say 'copter camera?
     
  6. Dorsetman

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    In the light of the comments above, I should like to make a brief but apposite code of conduct that we can pass to farmers to reassure the highest standards of professionalism. Once they know that we are serious about what we do and can offer a genuine service at low cost, they are more likely to call the local pilot. I am working on a list of reasons based on the NFU listed crop issues as a starter.
    Any suggestions please ie. no buzzing livestock, going only where directed etc.
     
  7. Dorsetman

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    Re: Farming Skyview Network

    Re Farming Skyview Network

    This has now been set up and already we have 11 flyers registered. You can read about it on www.farmingskyview.co.uk and hopefully you will be able to join in. I am looking for advice, experiences and images to share where they relate to landscapes and farms. You will see that there is a Flyers Code which is growing subject to advice and opinion so all contributions will be gratefully received. You can contact through the site or base@farmingskyview.co.uk

    Look forward to hearing from you.
    Adrian
     
  8. CallMeAlan

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    I contacted you (via PM) when you first posted and never had a reply or heard another word. It would be quite nice to know if some nice local farmer is about to contact me.
     
  9. 4wd

    4wd

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    Well, I have a farm and sorry but this sounds like a non-starter, although they might like a good photo of the main steading and perhaps some other features.
    Anything to do with livestock - mentioned on the website - sounds like you never even tried it as they go loopy.

    There's a remote chance that a lost animal could be spotted more readily from above. They do sometimes go off into a hidden spot if unwell or calving for example.

    The other things would be far more sensibly checked at ground level with the other sort of quad (ATV!) :)
     
  10. Dorsetman

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    Hi
    Thanks
    I am sure that in many ways and in your experience you are correct. I am simply offering a free service and so far have had quite a few requests. We did two herd counts recently at 50 meters with no response from the cattle but I am very aware of this and would normally stay higher.
    Thanks again.