Queensland sugarcane industry considers the potential of drones

A woman in a hat crouches next to a small drone copter in a harvested field By Lara Webster

The sugarcane industry could be next on the list to utilise drones for improved farm production.

Canegrowers Environmental and Natural Resources manager, Matt Kealley, said the potential of the technology was exciting.

It may be early days but Mr Kealley said he had visited a handful of growers trialling drones and the initial results were promising.

Media player: “Space” to play, “M” to mute, “left” and “right” to seek.

“One of the things they are using them for is looking at how well the plants are going and whether the plants are healthy or they are under stress,” Mr Kealley said.

“They do that by creating a map using normalised difference vegetation index [NDVI] technology … effectively that is a technical term to look at the colour of the plants when they absorb or reflect radiation.”

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