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What Niche's Lend Themselves to Working With Smaller Companies?

Discussion in 'Agriculture' started by Consultant, Sep 26, 2016.

  1. Consultant

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    I read somewhere that anyone looking to offer services to farmers should go through an Agricultural Consultant since most farms already have a relationship with one?

    I would assume most major/large farming operations already have in-house or sub-contracted aerial data collection services in place with strong relationships.

    What is the current status of the average smaller operation? What percentage of them are using drones and how are they using them? Are they using contractors? Is there a handful of existing major service providers providing 90% of the services to 90% of all farmers who want it? Or is it highly localised to the point many smaller farmers are hiring individual pilots or very small aerial photography companies?

    Are there niches that are growing faster than others, such as Vineyards?
     
  2. Cobs

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    I know plenty of farmers but dont know any that ask for aerial data services nor have much of a need for one so my advice would be - get your business card posted to them just incase they ever do ;)
     
  3. Jrods

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    I started just this year I have had 15 customers all with over 600 acres each. Most are large fields over a mile long. Started by working with some hunters wanting to get permission to remove some wild pigs, but the farmer would not allow them in the field unless they could show him that his crop was being damaged. During the summer I flew each field once a week and posted the the video to a drop box. Where the farmer and the hunters could review the video. If I saw any damage I would promptly call the farmer and let him know.
    I have 13 of the original 15 signed up for next year starting just prior to planting and ending during harvest. The two I lost where smaller farmers, one purchase his own drone the other is in a area that did not have any damage this year.
     
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  4. ExcObs1

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    I've found most local farming ops are joined at the hip with the area university/extension agency, many of which are woefully behind in this technology. But I guess you get what you pay for :)
     
  5. BigAl07

    BigAl07 Moderator
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    Excellent ideas here. *following*
     
  6. CTMIAMI

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    I'm a "small" farmer 20 acres of avocado trees in Homestead. I could not find any decent service to do this for me so I purchased a phantom 4 and inspect the grove from the air and take photos or video to view at home. I would have gladly pay for the service but there is not much demand for it in my area. I'm probably the only avocado grower using a drone to inspect for Laurel Wilt disease. On my first fly I detected a few sick trees and that alone allow me to intervene quicker. It paid for itself on the first flight
     
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  7. ExcObs1

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    You are forward thinking and ahead of most "small" farmers.

    I've spent the last 30 years working for Verizon Communications (telephone/data service/fios) not wireless.

    When it comes to technology advances, you learn to grab on and let it pull you along or pick yourself up and look around for the truck.

    "Scaling" this technology to small farmers is what my goal and mission statement is.

    You found a simple picture from a different perspective valuable.

    Recently, I had a discussion (short) with a 50 acre vineyard owner in North Florida that I was simply looking to provide a FREE service of some NIR (NDVI) and RGB images for, just to see if they could be used in any beneficial way. Not even interested in the slightest.

    The ironic thing was, the previous week the local Farm Bureau had a speech contest in which the topic was "How can you integrate SUAS's in your farming operations and the benefits"

    Kudos to you!!
     
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  8. CTMIAMI

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    I do think ahead. Laurel Wilt is killing hundreds of avocado trees every month in my area. Crucial to the management of the disease in a grove is rapid intervention, removal of the trees and roots. The air view is excellent for it. I know that there has to be a signature Pre-visible wilt that would even be more useful, but no one has it so far. I fly my grove every 15 days or so to see if I spot any wilting trees.
    One drone company passed by our association meeting and said they could work with the 4K movies to get a pre wilt signature. I did called them but never heard back from them
    If you don't catch it early and let the tree wilt and sit there, root transmission of the disease begins to take place and that is really hard to control and you can loose a lot of trees before it gets control, if controlled at all.
     
    #8 CTMIAMI, Oct 15, 2016
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2016
  9. ExcObs1

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    NIR imaging (NDVI) or even thermal may yield early clues.

    Stressed or diseased plant/leaves reflect less green and NIR light.

    Some of the family has orange groves which have been devastated by the greening disease.

    I've spent some time playing around w/NIR/NDVI at the grove.


    NDVI is generally a variance view of what could be considered a complete ground cover crop such as corn, at a large field perspective.

    I'm still working at what yields a stichable mosaic altitude and overlap wise. Obviously, this altitude is too high for any useful info.
     
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  10. jlazz447

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    Great info... just need that 107 Cert. now >_<
     
  11. BigAl07

    BigAl07 Moderator
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    How did I miss this update to this thread????

    Great work. This gives me some great ideas.