Integrating Unmanned Aerial Systems Into the Crop Production System Through On-Farm Research

Kevin Allan Adkins, Christen C. Bailey, Aspen E. Taylor


Precision agriculture strives to manage variations in the field in order to increase yield while adapting input factors to preserve resources and decrease production costs. Unmanned aerial systems (UAS) are advancing precision agriculture by allowing for nondestructive and convenient, as well as cost and time efficient mapping of spatial variation in fields with higher spatial resolution than previous methods. However, while there is much anticipation regarding the potential role for UAS in precision agriculture, their role still requires additional application-based testing. The objective of this work was to explore how growers best integrate the UAS product into their farm workflow. Two on-farm investigations were undertaken with vegetable growers for the duration of a growing season. Combinations of two unique unmanned aircraft (UA) platforms fitted with two different multispectral sensors were used to gather spectral reflectance data. The investigations found that the UAS product enabled the growers to optimize their field management practices, while overcoming a labor shortage, and create a more sustainable operation.

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Journal of Agricultural Science   ISSN 1916-9752 (Print)   ISSN 1916-9760 (Online)  E-mail:

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