For the past few years, Doug Armknecht and his wife Kelli take the 30-mile trek to help his in-laws with their wheat harvest in Osborne County, Kansas. She drives the combine, and he takes video and helps move equipment. This year, Doug had another task – father-in-law Jhan LaRosh bought a Blade 350 QX2 AP quadcopter drone and made him the designated pilot.
"This drone is fairly new," he says. "It arrived during harvest and I had to learn to fly it quickly!"
Armknecht says the capabilities of less expensive (under $1,000) drones has improved greatly during the past year, and he says he’s excited to see that trend continue.
"For agricultural use, the technology is really in its infancy," he says. "We're just scratching the surface of what is possible. A combination of greater flight time, longer range, live video, higher resolution, and multispectral imaging would make the drone a powerful farming tool."
For now, Armknecht says he’s happy that the drone helped him create a unique and memorable 2014 harvest video: "My wife says that the video makes harvest almost look glamorous, when in reality it's often just hot, dirty, hard work."
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