As part of our A Dram With… blog series, we recently had a chat and a dram with Jack Wrangham from Drone AG, a company that provides drone training courses and easy-to-use software solutions for farmers.
Recently, MSP gave its backing to Drone AG’s newest piece of software, Skippy Scout, an app that makes crop scouting a simple, quick and accurate process.
Keep reading to find out more about Jack, the Skippy Scout technology, and what’s on the horizon for Drone AG.
What is your career background?
“I come from a farming family, but I also ran a company specialising in aerial photography and video using drones for eight years. Back then we were one of the first to start using camera drones in the UK.”
Tell us more about Skippy Scout
“Skippy Scout is a new app we’re developing that takes a drone and turns it into a super-simple, automated field scouting tool.
“It saves farmers and agronomists time by flying around the field taking images at defined sample points, instead of needing to walk over to them. Then we can analyse these images with AI to give useful metrics like GAI and weed percentage cover.
What are the advantages of using Skippy Scout?
“Its main purpose right now is to help farmers save time. Drone technology so far does not really save time, in fact it can even take up more time! With Skippy Scout, we’re changing that.”
What are the next steps for Skippy Scout?
“Eventually, Skippy Scout will have built-in AI analysis, as well as access to satellite maps to guide scouting and various export options to tell machinery where to go and what to do.”
Are there any other agri-tech products that you are currently developing?
“We are currently working with partners on drone-based spraying systems. These are perfect for spot-spraying and accessing wet or tough terrain without damage. The hardware is working, but we just need the legislation (CRD regs) to catch up!”
What are the biggest challenges facing the agriculture industry today?
“Loss of chemicals, soil damage and the need for farmers to maintain a viable business in a world of increasing expenses and plateauing yields.”
How important is technology in overcoming these challenges?
“Very – it is the key. With technology, in its many different forms, we can use fewer chemicals, reduce soil damage, become more efficient and increase yields. But we do need to maintain a focus on keeping things practical and usable for the farmer.”
What is the best advice you’ve ever been given?
“Never stop learning or assume that you can ever stop.”
You’re in the pub, and can choose ANY drink and ANY song to play – what would these be?
“Any beer and any AC/DC song!”