A new mobile phone app that uses images taken by drones to help farmers walk crops faster has been awarded gold in the LAMMA Innovation Awards. Skippy Scout uses drone photography and artificial intelligence software to analyse crops at leaf level and offer vital broad acre crop insight. Developed by pioneering start-up software developers Drone Ag, the new technology beat off competition from global brands including Kuhn and Krone to win the gold.
Jack Wrangham, founder of Drone Ag, will be speaking at LAMMA to explain how drones are already an essential tool for many farmers and how over the next five years’ drones will help provide the information to aid precision farming. He says: “We are humbled and excited to win a gold award in the ‘Future Innovation’ category of the LAMMA awards. We believe Skippy Scout can benefit farmers all over the world and we are excited to be launching it at LAMMA. As farm sizes increase and labour units per hectare decline, the risk of losing crops because a problem has not been identified quickly enough will increase. Skippy Scout offers every farmer the chance to see and evaluate crops easily and efficiently using just a phone and a drone.”
The LAMMA Innovation Awards recognise and give exposure to some of the best advances in agricultural manufacturing. “The awards offer a platform for exhibitors to introduce ground-breaking innovation in agricultural machinery, technology, equipment and services to the market. We judged it as a practical and cost-effective method for assessing weeds and disease levels throughout an arable crop,” says Chris Rothery, Judges Chair, LAMMA Innovation Awards.
Drone Ag was able to crowdfund the investment needed to develop Skippy Scout. “Eighteen months of development has culminated in a new farming tool that is set to revolutionise the way farmers walk their crops. The first users will be able to use the app in March 2020 and the waiting list is growing,” says Jack.
A partnership with drone specialists Heliguy will offer farmers the opportunity to lease a package of drone and software, allowing those interested to experiment and learn how drones can benefit their farm without a large capital outlay. “We are arable farmers and we have developed Skippy at our own farm in Northumberland. I will be speaking in the ‘Farming 4.0’ area at LAMMA to explain how easy the software is to use and how every arable farmer can benefit by investing in new technology,” concludes Jack.