A NEW function on a drone app has been developed to allow farmers to have a bird's eye view of their fields.

Drone Ag has developed the functionality for its mobile app Skippy Scout including 360-degree field imaging, plant counting, and base station technology.

The new software will enable users of Skippy Version 2.6 to see a whole field with a bird’s eye view.

Rather than only viewing individual scouting points, the new interface, Scout Spheres, offers high resolution overviews of entire fields combined with the ability to inspect leaf-level scout point data.

Skippy Scout is capable of counting emerging plants 20 times faster than walking the crop. It can count cereals, OSR, soybeans, beans, peas, and potatoes, offering an accurate total of plants in an image, as well as the number of plants per square metre.

Drone Ag founder Jack Wrangham said: “This development will enable existing and new users of Skippy to count emerging plants and then monitor the same fields to establish an accurate green area index (GAI) as the crop develops."

A new base station, named Skippy Nest will enable a member of the Drone Ag team to fly a user’s drone remotely. The farm can be located anywhere in the world and, using the base station, Drone Ag will be able to connect with it to offer a field scouting service.

Jack said: “We are starting commercial trials next year in the hope that we can launch the base stations shortly after.”

The solar-powered base station protects and charges the drone and can be remotely connected to by one of Drone Ag’s pilots. “By operating in this way, we can offer farmers and agronomists a service that will scout fields up to 20 times faster than on foot and email them PDF reports of GAI, weed and pest data in real time,” said Jack.

Drone Ag has sought crowd funding to develop Skippy Scout and is now entering a third phase to help fund the new base station technology. They are looking to raise a further £1.45m in this third phase, which will open in October. Those interested can register their interest now at www.skippy.farm/invest.