Saturday, August 8, 2015
John flew the drone over some soybean fields on Friday. In particular, he examined Freddie, Nellie, and Burke. If you merely did the ‘drive by’ windshield analysis of these soybeans, you’d feel pretty good about those fields’ potential. However, the view from above yields a different perspective, and lowers our expectations of final results.
Even though it is over one-half mile west of White River, our Freddie farm saw extensive damage from the 21+foot flood crest. It has lost about half the 310 acres planted here. The flood waters came in late June, and remained here until early August… in fact you can see in these 2 pictures that some water still remains to this day! You can see more images of this flood in a June 23 video on our YouTube page. Click on this link to compare the June images to this one from August 7.
The HD capability of the GoPro Hero 3+ camera attached to the DJI Phantom 2 drone gives us a more accurate look into the soybean crop canopy. When we view a photo taken straight down into the soybeans, we can ‘zoom in’ to see almost through the canopy into the lower leaves of the plants. We can see the damage done to the lower parts of plants that were not completely submerged in the flood waters. And it is easy to see the better health of plants that did not have flood water in/on them at all.
Not every location is ‘sad news’. We have mostly happy views of other farm locations such as VanVleet, Holscher, Downen, Burke, and Huey Hills.
Even though some of the aerial photos give us a diminished optimism for the final 2015 yield result, the ability to capture these views does give us valuable information about the progress of the crop at this point in the growing season. The Phantom 2 is ‘earning its keep’, so to speak.
Harvest15 is just a few weeks away now.