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Hi Everyone,

    Found this place in my many many google searches and research on UAVs.  I am strongly considering starting a business in my area flying UAVs for farmers.  I know its fairly new still and a lot of the farmers question the ROI on UAV vs basic Satellite imagery.  Starting out it will have to be a side business as I learn my way around and attempt to understand what the farmers will truly need and how I can best help them.  

New to drones and Ag, but I am always reading and learning new things so I am up for the challenge!

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Please remember that there are a lot of choices for farmers now, I was going to do the same thing but because of cost I could not compete with the competition..most farmers who own a large enough farm to do aerial mapping with RGB and NIR would go ahead and invest with they're own 3dr quad through agribotix or an ebee, which cost $1200.00, requires no transmitter to fly,(Android through APM)..and free image processing.once they acquire the hardware there is no more expense....I'm a farmer with over 1000 acres and it's very hard to justify paying someone when I can get the image processing for free you know? You would have to be very competitive as far as pricing goes..you do that and undercut the others and you'll be successful...you should check out the International Farm Machinery Show in Louisville KY to see all the competion..best of luck! Remember that alot of rural farmers never have access to such technology..the NIR vegitation maps can help alot and can show inconsistencies in fertilizer and moisture, and growth..you just need to figure out if you can help the farmer justify the cost and if you can help him improve his yield..farming is a tough business and we're looking for every available angle to see the bigger picture on our farms...justify cost based on improvements to the land, and also undercut the competition..and you'll be successful!

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One funny thing at the International Farm Machinery Show...seeing 10 million dollar seed company's with they're  $12,000 rigs..then the guy in the booth beside them with the exact same 3dr solo with converted RGB and NIR go pros..same px4 image processing..for $1300.00 lol 

 

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On 7/28/2016 at 8:42 PM, Country boy racer said:

Please remember that there are a lot of choices for farmers now, I was going to do the same thing but because of cost I could not compete with the competition..most farmers who own a large enough farm to do aerial mapping with RGB and NIR would go ahead and invest with they're own 3dr quad through agribotix or an ebee, which cost $1200.00, requires no transmitter to fly,(Android through APM)..and free image processing.once they acquire the hardware there is no more expense....I'm a farmer with over 1000 acres and it's very hard to justify paying someone when I can get the image processing for free you know? You would have to be very competitive as far as pricing goes..you do that and undercut the others and you'll be successful...you should check out the International Farm Machinery Show in Louisville KY to see all the competion..best of luck! Remember that alot of rural farmers never have access to such technology..the NIR vegitation maps can help alot and can show inconsistencies in fertilizer and moisture, and growth..you just need to figure out if you can help the farmer justify the cost and if you can help him improve his yield..farming is a tough business and we're looking for every available angle to see the bigger picture on our farms...justify cost based on improvements to the land, and also undercut the competition..and you'll be successful!

Thank you for your response.  I know some of the larger farms will eventually purchase their own equipment, but hopefully before that happens I can get a season or two out of them and then move onto the smaller farmers that don't have the ability or time to stitch together the imagery.

I have decided to go with a multi-rotor (probably the inspire 1 pro) for now as I am afraid of trying to find the landing sites necessary for fixed wing.  

Does anyone have much experience with DataMapper or Pix4d?  I like the idea of owning software and not being stuck in a subscription to get my data processed.

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I've used px4d for stitching and data mapping, most use this as this is the most userfriendly...The inspire would probably work good, but don't forget that you have to get GPS geotagged pics, now whether you go with the GPS through the flight system or through the camera with a predefined flight pattern is up to you...My personal preference...go with 3dr pixhawk flight controller, or if you want to buy a rtr unit a 3dr solo, the software is open source, that's why most companies use 3dr products..please check out agribotix..they are the leaders in this field as far as image and data processing...they will process and stitch for you..for a price...you can buy there 3dr solo plus 2 converted go pro cameras...ready to go $12,000.00. Or buy a 3dr solo yourself, buy a rgb and nir converted gopros..or convert them yourself..buy px4d and there ya go lol..same thing.hope this helps!

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