Corteva Agriscience in late February announced a new partnership with DroneDeploy, a company that makes the leading cloud-based software platform for commercial drones. DroneDeploy technology will power Corteva’s entire fleet of agricultural drones.
“DroneDeploy’s software allows for in-depth, real-time, high-definition video of fields from as high as 10,000 feet to as low as a few inches. This makes it an incredibly powerful tool for monitoring large fields,” says Mike Winn, CEO and co-founder of DroneDeploy.
The deal with Corteva will put the fleet of 400 DJI drones to work across the company’s seed production and ag product supply chain fields. DJI is a class of drones DroneDeploy supports. These drones will also be used by Pioneer’s strategic account management teams and its agronomy teams in the U.S., Canada, Brazil and Europe. Corteva’s fleet of drones is the largest in the agriculture industry.
Planting seed for future
“Corteva is now deploying the most advanced crop scouting technology on drones using DroneDeploy’s Live Map technology to deliver real-time crop insights and enabling immediate actions by their agronomists in the field,” Winn says.
He offers five ways DroneDeploy is reinventing the way Corteva — and the ag industry in general — will tend to its crops:
1. Identify problems before they spread. Toxic parasites and fungi can destroy a harvest but with DroneDeploy's advanced imaging technology, field monitors can maintain a constant eye on crops, identifying problem areas early so steps can be taken to prevent the spread.
2. Fields can be monitored in minutes, not hours. Ensuring crop health means knowing everything that is happening in the field. But traveling a 160-acre field can take hours. DroneDeploy's software can spot variations in plant and soil health on a field that size in 15 minutes.
3. Better data leads to better planning. With farmers receiving real-time aerial views of their entire farming operation, they are better equipped to make important planning decisions both during the off-season and during planting, growing and harvesting seasons.
4. Assess damage and correct it faster. When weather or other similar damage happens, DroneDeploy's technology allows for fast, accurate, assessment of the damage and provides farmers with the data they need to get it fixed faster.
5. Taking agriculture practices to a higher level. Drones are great for instant decision-making, but tools like side-by-side maps and the ability to generate variable-rate prescriptions for application of pesticides also helps with advanced crop management.
“This agreement with DroneDeploy fortifies Corteva Agriscience as a leader in the use of UAV technology,” says Jeremy Groeteke, U.S. digital agriculture lead for Corteva. “The field intelligence technology will enable our Pioneer agronomy and strategic account management teams to work with farmers to provide real-time aerial views of their fields.”
By also deploying the advanced UAV technology in Corteva’s seed production network, the company’s agronomists and contract seed growers will be able to make more timely decisions that impact seed yields and quality.
Every operator of the drones will be trained on how to best harness the power of the aerial technology and will be certified according to local aviation regulations, Groeteke says. “This is an exciting time in the ag industry and the move to using these drones will certainly strengthen and differentiate Corteva Agriscience from our competitors.
“When you couple our drone investment with our other digital offerings provided by Granular Ag and Encirca services, we will provide growers with even more data, so they can make timely, informed agronomic decisions.”