Hello Gardeners, I’m Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making It Grow. A major aspect of Integrated Pest Management is scouting – checking growing crops frequently to detect early outbreaks of disease or insect problem. In the old days, people took four-wheeler into fields and stopped periodically to take samples from test sites.A muddy, lumpy field is not the safest place even for an all terrain vehicle and A cousin of mine was among many of those wheeled detection people who were injured while working.
Today, farmers are using drones to fly over fields. With a variety of filters available, the images they receive can give them real-time information about insect activity, a blocked irrigation head, or an outbreak of insect feeding. This means targeted applications to troubled areas, greatly reducing the amount of pesticides that might have been used if the problem hadn’t been discovered so early and reacted to immediately.