Hazelnut trees photographed using UAS

Better-than-the-Eye Aerial View Field Scouting for Plant Health Protection

Buckland and Nackley labs

Check out our extension publication:
Unmanned Aerial Systems: A guide for finding the right system for your Oregon farm

Plant health can be monitored through images from UAS-mounted cameras. UAS stands for Unmanned/Uncrewed Aircraft System, with the small aircraft informally called a "drone." Changes in photosynthesis that are not observable by the human eye can be found by cameras equipped for far red light wavelengths. Crops can also be surveyed over a large area for early signs of insect damage, drought stress, or nutrient deficiencies, allowing farmers to target areas for pest control or fertilizer inputs and minimize yield loss.

While research projects with the BEAV are a key program component, the main focus of this program is grower outreach. Purchasing equipment and software is costly. Commercially available tools are not always focused towards on-farm deployment and quick, easy analysis. Our goal is to bridge the gap between the technology available and the grower in the field to provide useful, easily accessible tools for plant health monitoring. A successful UAS scouting program can help growers keep yields high while minimizing inputs.

We are starting a blog and associated podcast to extend our outreach efforts. Check back for more content in Spring 2020!

See the link below for a poster giving an overview of our research program