Professors and students at Texas Tech are using their drones to help out local farmers. They’re hoping to use these drones to tell farmers exactly where their crops are doing well, and not so well.
“The priority of my research is trying to help farmers, conserve water, and improve the bottom line for profitability,” said Wenxuan Guo, an associate professor for Texas Tech’s agriculture department.
Guo says it starts with taking the temperature of the soil. If the ground is too hot, then the plants probably aren’t getting enough water.
“It’s almost like a physician in the air,” said Guo. “He has a thermometer to detect whether the plant is under stress or not.”
If the plants are under stress than the drone should be able to detect it in time. However, farmers who are unaware of which crops are suffering have to water them all, leading to an increase in costs.
“We know water is the number one limiting factor of crop production in this area so if we can conserve water, we can improve the crop yield,” said Guo.
The students and their professor are still working on perfecting their equations, but if they are successful then this technology could change the way farmers look after their crops.