It is estimated that 33-percent of all farmers are using drones now – either by themselves or third party operators. Drones are a natural in agriculture for crop scouting; but what about as a tool for livestock being raised in confinement?
On the inside you can use drones with thermal sensing to detect higher temperatures of animals that may give you a head start on treating any illnesses or stress in the barn. With a little skill, you can fly the drone right through the trusses. According to Dr. Paul Gunderson at the Dakota Precision Ag Center at Lake Region College, drones can be also used for biosecurity surveillance by scouting for unwanted wildlife in the area.
On the outside the drone is a valuable tool to check building assets and roof conditions. For instance, if your poultry farm is along wild bird flyways you can inspect buildings to see if there are any droppings atop roofs. You can then take action to remove any potentially harmful diseases or parasites that might be carried in the droppings. Plus a facilities manager can inspect for maintenance issues without having to crawl up on a ladder or walk on the roof.
Raised on a corn and soybean farm in central Illinois, Mary Auth understands farmers and farming. She has long been directly involved with production agriculture. Mary has been a marketing and communications consultant to various sectors in the agricultural industry for more than 40 years. She has served as a consultant for ag commodity groups, farming operations, seed organizations and agricultural legal services. When she’s not providing critical insights and perspectives to any number of ag initiatives, she enjoys traveling the globe, meeting friends old and new, and continuing learning about how people communicate. Mary is a graduate of the University of Illinois and the Illinois Ag Leadership Program. Supporting the innovative work of Summit Livestock Facilities is a natural fit for her.