Report: Drone ROI Averages $15 Per Acre – Crops – News |

Many farmers know approximately what a drone might cost. Fewer know what return on that agtech investment might bring – but a new report brings fresh ROI insights.

Source: Report: Drone ROI Averages $15 Per Acre – Crops – News |

I’m a fan of drones as you may know and own several, and agriculture is one area where they are genuinely useful. Still it surprised me that the ROI (return on investment) on their use is as much as $15 per acre.

In agriculture they’re used for crop scouting, flying over fields to check for problems such as insect and weed problems, poor drainage, checking the condition of the crops, etc. It saves an enormous amount of time because before drones came along farmers would either have to do that themselves or pay for the co-op to do it for them. Using a drone takes a tiny fraction of the time it would take to walk the fields.

And damn, I wish we’d have had one back in the day when the heifers broke out of the pasture and got into the corn field! You ever try chasing a dozen crazed heifers running through a cornfield?

Drones suitable for this kind of thing aren’t cheap. You’re looking at starting out at around $1,700 or so and by the time you add in the cost of extra batteries which can run $75+ each, possibly portable charging systems so you can charge batteries in the field, things like that, you’re well over $2,000 and climbing. Professional quality drones with extended flight times, programmable flight plans, etc. add to the cost quickly. But you can get something like the DJI mentioned in the article or the Yuneec Typhoon that I used to have which is equivalent to it, for around $1,500.

Note: the FAA has finally straightened out all of the rules and regulations, and is now issuing licenses for commercial drone operators that does not require you to spend months of time and ten thousand dollars or more to get a airplane pilot’s license any longer. That ought to help enormously. I should point out that you do not need to get licensed if you are using the drone over your own property for your own use, only if you are going to do it on a commercial basis. But even if you’re flying over your own property you need to register your drone if it’s larger than the little indoor toys, so anything that would be useful for crop scouting etc. is going to have to be registered.

Not a fun way to wake up :/

So I get up about 3:45 this morning, something that, alas, is not unusual for me these days, then go back to bed and…. Oh shit, here we go… SVT, or supra ventricular tachycardia, a situation where electrical signals to the heart get out of whack and the heart starts beating at around 190 and… well it’s not pleasant. I’ve had this going on for about 10 or 12 years now and it’s — annoying.

Wake up my poor wife and she has to drag my sorry old butt down to the ER where most of them remembered me from the last time this happened about a year ago. SVT won’t kill you, generally speaking, unless it goes on for a long time, but you can faint, get weak, and if it goes on for too long it can cause heart damage so it is not a good thing.

Sometimes it will convert back to normal rhythm by itself, but for me generally not. They usually have to give me a drug called adenosine which is just nasty. It basically kills you. Sort of. Or at least it feels that way. They defibbed me once and being shocked was preferable to getting adenosine, really.

This time it converted on its own, amazingly. The nurse was trying to put in an IV and missed and this horrible burning went up my arm, I half sat up, gasped, and bang, it converted to normal. So that was something anyway.

It’s weird, though… this seems to happen every spring for some reason. Last year it was in Feb. The year before that in May…

What’s the most irritating about it is the symptoms of this starting feel exactly like a gas bubble is moving through my abdomen, which, when you get to be my age, is something that happens a lot. So every time I have indigestion or gas or or something like that I go into panic mode because I think the SVT is starting again…

Anyway, not a fun way to wake up.

Signs of Spring

Despite the cold, rainy weather we’ve been seeing signs of spring outside in the gardens as a few things start to peek their heads up out of the leaf litter, mulch and debris left by the winter.


Not the best photos in the world but I took these with the iPhone 7. I’ve only had it for about three weeks and I haven’t used it much for photography and I’m still trying to get used to it’s quirks.

It’s certainly better than the camera in the iPhone 6 was, but it’s still not even close to what something like a, oh, a mid-range Nikon or Cannon pocket sized camera could do for about a third of the price.

And unless I’m doing something wrong, the iPhone camera has some rather serious, for me anyway, issues. The color seems off to me. Color rendition actually seems worse than it was with the iPhone 6. Photos seem darker than they should be except under bright sunlight. The autofocus is constantly changing as it struggles to try to find something to focus on when taking closeups.

I’ve seen some spectacular photography that was done with the iP7, but I’m beginning to wonder how many of those photos were taken under ideal, artificial conditions or even had considerable post processing done to them. If I can work up enough ambition I should go out with the good camera and take side by side photos with both the Fuji and the iP7 so I can compare them side by side.


This image was taken with the Fuji. I wish you could see it full size because the detail is so good at full resolution it would more than fill your entire screen and is so sharp you can count the hairs on the bee’s legs. And the Fujifilm camera I use isn’t exactly a high end camera/lens system and has been out of production for a few years now.

I suppose it comes down to the lens system being used. I don’t care what kind of optical systems they develop for these phone cameras, it comes down to basic physics. A lens that’s not much bigger than the head of a match isn’t going to produce results as good as what I get with something like my Fuji’s macro/zoom lens.