Chacriya Sereeyothin: Drone Imaging for Organic Farming

NDVI: out of sight, in the spotlight

Due to the incomparable efficiency and high crop yield that conventional agriculture provides, it is no surprise that most of the world’s food is produced in this manner. While studies show that conventionally-grown greens are just as nutritious as organic produce, the process of conventional agriculture is far more harmful to the environment. Farmers around the world swamp their fields with costly pesticides, hoping to prevent crop disease outbreaks, leaching pesticides into surrounding areas and the food supply. In a race against pests that evolve chemical resistance, farmers have been forced to use larger amounts of harsher pesticides in an effort to preserve their crops.

Farmers in developing countries have turned to organic farming as a promising alternative to conventional farming. Potentially more profitable than conventional farming, organic farming abandons chemical pesticides in favor of more natural means of disease control. However, with farmers owning large, flat plantations in the countryside, manual inspection can take weeks. In that time, diseases are free to spread unchecked, with devastating effects.

We wanted to create a solution to increase the effectiveness of field inspections in organic farms while decreasing the amount of labor needed so that farmers can maintain higher crop yields. Our project explores the use of drone imaging technology, specifically NDVI processing, to quickly assess overall field health. We believe that this technology could revolutionize the agriculture industry and kick start a trend towards cleaner, sustainable, and more efficient farming.

Other Drone Imaging for Organic Farming Lab Team Members: Nachat Jatusripitak.

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