One Farmer Finds Quick ROI From Drone Imaging

Posted by John Herath on Thu, 12/06/2018 - 11:24

By John Herath and Rhonda Brooks

Indiana farmer Mason Lantrip says his drone investment has paid for itself 20 times over…in multiple years.

“That’s a pretty big incentive to get my own drone, get my license and to go about things,” says Lantrip, Coatesville, Ind.

Lantrip participated in a panel discussion on remote sensing at Farm Journal’s AgTech Expo in Indianapolis this week.

In particular, Lantrip says the drone helped him quantify wind damage in a corn field this year.

“The insurance adjuster said, ‘I don’t want to walk in there, it’s really hot,’” Lantrip shared. “He said ‘just fly it to your worst bare spot.’ So I’d fly the drone and hover it. He’d walk to the drone and come back and say ‘oh, you really don’t want to go in there, he says it’s really bad.’”

Lantrip estimates that the claim paid about twice what the adjuster was expecting.

Overall, Lantrip says the remote sensing information he gets from his drone helps him find problems much faster so he can take corrective action in time to avoid yield loss.

“I get a lot of information off the NDVI (normalized difference vegetation index) pictures that helps find diseases, helps find pests, helps find issues overlaying with yield maps to improve ROI,” he said.

Farm Journal Editor Rhonda Brooks talks with Lantrip about his use of remote sensing on his farm in the interview audio below.