Drones make farming more efficient and more fun according to two ranchers who recently bought their own property just northeast of Cut Bank, Montana. They even use the drones to remotely identify their livestock by reading out the RFID tags in the cows' ears with the unmanned aircraft.
Farmers use drones to remotely identify livestock
Area ranchers Kaleb and Kari Lewis who have recently bought their own property northeast of Cut Bank in Montana have started to adopt drones into their day-to-day work around the ranch, including using drones to remotely identify livestock.
“We have to become more efficient and utilize what resources there are out there to our advantage,” Caleb Lewis said, according to the Glacier Reporter. “This is still a relatively new technology but it is advancing quickly and getting better every year.”
Many of the more common tasks that a ranger would have completed manually in the past such as general supervision of the property or checking animals' health statuses, can now be done drone.
“There are so many ways that using a drone on the ranch allows one to become more efficient,” Lewis said. “Not only does this help us make the most of what we have, but it's really a lot of fun as well.”
Some ranchers, including the Lewises, have found a novel way to identify cows remotely by drone. By syncing the drones with the radio frequency identification (RFID) tags in the cows' ears the rangers can fly their unmanned aircraft through a field or near a heard and the aircraft will instantly identify the animals with the proper ID tag.
“There are multiple ways to use these drones to pay for themselves and to make the job easier for you in the process,” Lewis said. “One could even chase predators like bears or coyotes off of their property with these devices just by pestering them from a safe distance.”
Using drones to manage crops
Drones are not only useful to help manage livestock, however. The unmanned aircraft can also be used to map out a field before planting or to monitor crop growth, and check overall soil health and moisture content. Identifying and spot-treating any problem areas in a crop field can be completed faster with a set of eyes in the sky.
“I never would have imagined using a drone to move animals or on the ranch,” Lewis said. “We are still learning more about these devices every day and as we talk to other ranchers and farmers who use these as a tool, we build upon each other's knowledge and learn better ways to use them.”
“You might as well enjoy the luxuries of technology if you can,” Lewis said. “There are a lot of ways to make it work for you instead.”
What do you think of farmers using drones to remotely identify livestock, such as cows? Do you see a future for farming with drones? Let us know in the comments below.
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