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Farmers continue to be under pressure to reduce operating costs, increase yields, and create greater end-market returns all the while being more environmentally friendly.  There has been significant interest around the expanded use of technology for agriculture applications including big data analytics and cloud storage for data collected from mapping technologies, mobile devices, climate and nutrient sensors, and yield monitoring devices.  At this point, the real impact on productivity and yields has been unclear due to the multiple variables contributing to productivity.  Historically, the last major technological leap forward was made with the use of GPS for precision agriculture.  Could drones be the next major leap forward similar to GPS?  Drones have shown early promise for example in aiding the detection of crop variability via automated drone flights to capture imagery followed by post-processing by sophisticated, cloud-based algorithms.

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The uptake in drone usage by agriculture has been slow.  Unlike GPS, which became a tool that anyone could use, drones still require drone experts.  These experts are needed throughout the lifecycle of drone usage; from the original selection of the drone, through the set-up, initial flights, and on-going usage.  Therefore, the added cost of drone usage is not simply the drone and the software.  There is a significant labor cost; not only the labor for the drone experts but also for the farming resources to supervise or facilitate their efforts.  Further the analytical tools today are a fly-and-wait model missing the real-time, first-hand feedback that has historically been a significant input for farming experts.  While there are benefits to the aerial imagery provided, drones have not brought enough utility to agriculture yet.

For drones to take the first step towards providing real utility to agriculture, the technology needs to be easy to use and provide clear operational efficiencies similar to what GPS brought.  Drones need to be easy to use and to integrate into daily operations.  Drones need to drive operational efficiency by reducing labor and enabling timely decisions by experts.  The Cape Drone Telepresence and Data Management (DTDM) system has been proven to deliver to these requirements.

Ease of Use

The Cape DTDM makes drone flight so easy that you will feel safe putting the control of the drones in the hands of your existing staff.  Further, the DTDM makes the usage of drones safe by any operator.  This means that your existing team will be able to visually inspect any asset via a drone.  Any drive-to-inspect activity can now be done remotely via drones including checking fence lines, checking water levels, verifying proper application of product, finding lost animals and many more.  The Cape DTDM allows you to automate your routine activities as well.  To get you started, the Cape team will work with your operational team for initial set up and training so that the team will be confident about the safe use of drones.  Finally, the Cape App ensures the safety of your local technician who is supervising the drone flight and performing regular maintenance with an intuitive interface that complements the training from Cape’s team of experts.

Operational Efficiency

Aerial capabilities greatly enhance the productivity of farm personnel for both routine patrols and on-demand response.   Routine inspections with Cape Aerial Telepresence from your main office efficiently identify potential issues which can be used to precisely direct the right staff member to go address the issue.  Reports from your workers in the field can be viewed by the correct expert remotely.  All members of your operation will benefit from the live streaming no matter where they are.  Further with Cape Aerial Telepresence, your supplier’s experts can participate in any inspection of your assets via Cape’s live streaming.  With Cape Aerial Telepresence, your entire field operations team will benefit from more time to do their job and instant access to your experts to efficiently address issues.