Would you use drones in your pecan orchards?

Drone view of Pecan Sprayer in Pecan Orchard

When I was a kid, I often enjoyed movies that portrayed the future with all the new technology such as flying cars and self-lacing shoes. Now that I am adult I still find myself intrigued by the future technology that we have on the horizons. Lately I’ve been pondering the future of pecan orchards and what technology we might have to help us grow better pecans. In particular I have become increasingly interested in the use of drones in agriculture. So I started searching the internet for such applications. In my recent searches I have found that the use of drones in agriculture is on the rise and has shown some promising results. Most of the articles I came across were highlighting the use of drone technology in row crops, but I did come across several articles where drones have been tested in orchard settings. One article in particular (link), showed the use of aerial drones being tested in apple orchards. The drones were outfitted with various camera types, then flown over the orchards, the camera images could then be uploaded to a program that will stitch together the many images to create on large orchard overview. The various data types can be overlaid to show different characteristics of the health of the trees. Common sense tells us that if drones can be used in apple orchards, then drones can also be used for the same purposes in pecan orchards.  Drones are currently being outfitted with various camera types that collect data on land telemetry, soil and crop data, as well as pest infestations. So what do you think, will we see drones flying above our orchards in the next 5-10 years?