Crop Spraying, Spreading and Farm Mapping

Farming Drones

Software and workflows for the new generation of farmer

Farming Drones

Data-driven agriculture for the new generation of farmer

For centuries farmers have walked their fields monitoring the health of their crops. It is a time-consuming process. But this is changing.

Agriculture drones are becoming a key driver of innovation: Helping the new generation of farmers automate crop spraying and seeding, monitor and inspect crop growth and improve farming efficiency, leading to increased outputs and maximising productivity.

Precision Agriculture

Crop spraying, seed spreading and land surveying.

Specialist drones like the DJI Agras range can automate crop spraying and seed spreading, and mapping data from drones like the DJI Mavic 3 Enterprise and Mavic 3 Multispectral can be deployed to obtain vital insights.

All in one software solutions like Skippy Scout can be used to plan and execute drone missions, and provide real-time data on the health of crops.

On-demand and high-resolution drone data is perfect for capturing and accurately reporting events that lead to economic loss, like crop injury and reduced health.

Drones cover areas more quickly, offer real-time insights, are more precise than traditional methods, and are non-evasive to crops.

In a nutshell, drones provide vital data which helps farmers and growers monitor, plan and manage their farms more effectively - saving time and money in the process.

Up to 200 acres

Covered in a single flight

85% lower planting costs

When using 3D field mapping and soil analysis with drones.

$1.3 billion annually

Could be saved by corn, soybean, and wheat farmers by using drones, says one study.

$4.8 billion

Is the predicted figure that the agricultural drone market will grow to by 2024.

How Can Drones Be Used In Agriculture?

The versatility of drones and their sophisticated sensors enables farmers to utilise the technology for a number of reasons. These include:

  • Crop Monitoring: Drones and specialist software like Skippy Scout monitor crops accurately and more cheaply than traditional methods and offer key insights into crop development, as well as highlighting inefficient and ineffective practices.
  • Soil and Field Analysis: Drones can produce 3D maps, quickly and cheaply, which help farmers make important decisions about seed-planting pattern design and nitrogen-level management, for example.
  • Health Assessment: Drones can capture multispectral data to help farmers gather key insights into crop health. Such early intervention is crucial to remedy any issues.
  • Irrigation: Drones equipped with monitoring equipment can identify areas of a field experiencing hydric stress (lack of water). Thermal sensors provide crucial information, allowing targeted diagnosis of areas receiving too much or too little water.
  • Aerial Planting: Drones can fly over a potential planting zone to monitor the best areas for growth. They can then drop biodegradable pods, filled with seed and nutrients, into the ground.
  • Herd Management: Farmers are deploying drones to monitor livestock. In some cases, drones with loudspeakers, like the CZI LP12 for M30 and MP130 for M300 RTK, and DJI Loudspeaker for M3E are used for animal movement, playing a pre-recorded dog bark. Farmers say this method puts less stress on the herd.
  • Crop Spraying: DJI Agras spraying drones can cover large areas quickly, applying liquids with great precision.
  • Insurance: Drones can play a key role in insurance, at both the pre-and-post-claim stage. Using a drone helps for site inspection, claims decisions, fraud prevention, and risk management.
"Some of my experts have told me that it is almost like using the drone is a kind of uniting force in the relationship between them and the farmer. The farmer likes it that they are here and using something so accurate and cutting edge on their fields."

Philippe Vayssac, Groupama Rhone-Alpes Auvergne
"There is a huge appetite for drones in agriculture and farming. A drone can be turned into a useful farming tool – flying it over a field to give a farmer valuable insights and a range of information, and making walking fields a thing of the past."

Jack Wrangham, Drone AG

Farm Drone Use Cases

Learn more about how farm drones are transforming agirculture.

Crop Spraying Drones

Automated, targeted and precise.

Agricultural drone spraying is becoming an increasingly popular application, helping to maintain crop health and yields.

Drones are being deployed for spraying for disease, weed, and pest control, as well as spreading pesticides and fertilisers.

Using drones for this application makes sense, offering a fully-automated, targeted and precise solution, and replacing labour-intensive, time-consuming, and potentially harmful use of backpack sprayers and other equipment.

This method is particularly useful in areas where the terrain is undulating, steep, or hard to access.

Deploying a drone is also a cheaper option than using crop dusters to spray fields too large for manual labour.

The DJI Agras is an industry-leading crop spraying drone. There are more than 40,000 active Agras on the market around the world.

Current regulations do not prevent drone spraying of pesticides in the UK, but the HSE needs to be satisfied that spraying can be done without causing harm to the environment or human health. The HSE accepts requests to permit the application of pesticides by drone. Visit here for more details.

heliguy™ has partnered with DroneAG to create and deliver a DJI Agras drone spraying course, combining the GVC with Agras spcific aerial spraying training.

Crop Spraying Drones v Manual Methods

Using drones for crop spraying is a far more efficient and cost-effective process than manual methods.

This table provides a breakdown of the benefits in real terms of deploying a DJI Agras drone over traditional methods, in terms of efficiency, safety, and control. This example is based on the DJI Agras T16 but provides a snapshot of the overall benefits when deploying any drone in the Agras series.



DJI Agras T16


7-10 acres a day

150 acres per hour

Work Standardisation

Manual planning

Coordinate with the positioning system to carry out path planning and improve work efficiency.

Pesticide Type

Common pesticides

Supports special aviation chemicals, high utilisation rate, can save more than 20% of pesticides.

Control Effect

It is easy to leak or re-spray, and low pesticide penetration.

Due to the low efficiency of work, it is difficult to carry out large-area protection in a short period of time, which is not suitable for unified control.

The pesticide is sprayed uniformly and has good penetration due to the downwards wind stream from the aircraft.

Can carry out large-area operations in a short period of time.


Workers are very close to pesticides, which is a serious health hazard.

The worker is separated from the pesticide and does not need to access hard-to-reach areas.

Crop inspection drones

Save money and identify problems through aerial data.

Crop inspection is a vital part of farming and a drone can be deployed to capture fast, accurate, and meaningful insights.

Drones can carry a combination of zoom, thermal, multispectral, NDVI, and visual cameras to draw precise data which cannot be seen with the naked eye, or is difficult to collect from ground level.

This provides vital real-time insights about crop growth, differences between healthy and distressed plants, and weed control, thus enabling agricultural professionals to identify issues quickly, precisely and accurately, and to better target their field scouting.

Drones can be used to carry out these surveys as frequently as the job demands. This precise and repeatable multi-year drone data allows for better planning and monitoring of improvements, such as ditches and evolving fertiliser applications.

As an added advantage, this meaningful data can be processed instantly and can be shared quickly with key staff and decision-makers to help maximise agricultural outputs.

Read the blog about multispectral drone data

Agriculture Mapping Drones

Digitise your field into insightful maps.

Drone mapping is becoming a key tool for farmers.

Digitising your field helps to maximise operational efficiency and monitor crop production, plant breeding, irrigation, and animal damage.

Drone mapping provides better insights into crops from above, serving as the foundation for work on the ground.

Turn images into insightful maps which can help with decision-making and can be shared quickly. 

Drone mapping also provides the chance to set pre-determined flight paths for autonomous missions and repeatable and accurate data collection.

Drone mapping can provide the following insights:

  • Field Inspection: Identify issues with quick-to-create, high-resolution maps.
  • Irrigation: Manage irrigation and minimise soil erosion by creating a digital surface model. This helps farmers understand irrigation variability and highlight areas at risk of erosion.
  • Field Interpretation: Analyse different vegetation index maps to identify key crop areas that need to be addressed and ensure the sustainability of new techniques.
  • Targeted Analysis: Generate comprehensive zone maps to identify how to achieve increased yields.
  • Insurance Claims: Create maps to validate and sustain insurance claims by capturing footprints of your crop damage. 
  • Historical Analysis: Compare side-by-side maps to track a crop’s progress over time. This enables you to dig deeper into problem areas, take a closer look at patterns, and visualise how crop emergence and plant health played out through the entire growing season. 

Skippy Scout Software

Automated Crop Monitoring Software

Skippy Scout is an innovative and automated crop-scouting app, automating off-the-shelf DJI drones to photograph and analyse crops in a matter of minutes and enabling agricultural professionals to view their fields like never before.

Conduct fully-automated, pre-programmed and targeted drone flights to obtain field overviews and close-up imagery for analysis.

Then receive field reports on crop health, problems and progress in a matter of minutes - viewable from anywhere - for real-time, data-driven decision-making.

Use Skippy Scout for:

  • Actionable crop-specific analysis, from seed to harvest.
  • High-resolution drone imagery to count crops, including oil seed rape.
  • Check for unhealthy leaves and pest damage.
  • Plot to apply the correct levels of variable rate nitrogen.
  • Post-flowering ratios for an accurate report of interplaying pod development, ripening and senescence ratios of oil seed rape.

Find out more about Skippy Scout

Transform Your Drone Data

Drone farm mapping software is an important part of using UAS for agriculture, turning collected data into meaningful insights.

Drone mapping software can also be used to streamline the process of deploying a drone, by creating pre-mission flight paths for greater efficiency and automated flights. 

There are a number of leading drone farm mapping software solutions on the market. Here's a look at some of them: 

DJI Terra

DJI's 3D modelling and drone mapping software package can be used to great effect for agriculture.

  • Add waypoints to draw a polygon as target areas and flexibly adjust flight parameters as desired, and plan a mission and set desired flight parameters to cover the needs.
  • DJI Terra collects imagery of target areas and stitches them into actionable maps in real-time.
  • Simplified workflow: The marking of boundaries, obstacles, and calibration points are all done on the DJI Terra interface.
  • Process multispectral images to generate vegetation index maps including NDVI and NDRE. Create prescription maps for variable rate application using DJI’s Agras drones to improve crop yields while driving down costs.


Pix4Dfields is an advanced agriculture mapping software for aerial crop analysis and digital farming.
  • Create maps rapidly (no internet connection required) for faster decision making and action, without leaving the field.
  • Eliminate the guesswork by generating precise orthomosaics, digital surface models, index maps, zones and accurate prescription maps.
  • Use the Pix4Dcapture app to easily plan and control drone flight for optimal mapping.
  • Share your maps with all project stakeholders for seamless collaboration using Pix4Dfields PDF report tool.


The DroneDeploy software package offers agriculture intelligence to enhance year-round management decisions.

  • User-Friendly Software: Fly 160 acres in less than 15 minutes.
  • Spot variability and gather field intelligence with multi-spectral data processing.
  • Get real-time insights field-side with Live Map to generate variable rate prescriptions using in-season crop health imagery, and support a more productive scouting programme.
  • Understand yield threats before setting foot in your fields.

Smart Agriculture Workflows

Harness The DJI Ecosystem For A Complete Farming Solution.

DJI has launched a complete farming solution, from planning to operation, conducted entirely from drones and associated software.

This comprehensive package makes agricultural practices more efficient by combining a range of drones, such as the DJI Agras series and the DJI Mavic 3 Multispectral.

DJI Terra - a drone mapping software package - can also be utilised in this DJI farming ecosystem to produce agricultural maps from the collected drone data and generate targeted flight paths.

Meanwhile, Drone Ag's Skippy Scout software can be used as part of a DJI drone agriculture workflow: Use Skippy Scout to automate drone crop scouting and mapping to quickly and accurately diagnose issues in the field, and then tackle these problems through precise and targeted spraying with DJI Agras. 

The information below - within the orange bar titled Farming Drone Workflows - shows how multiple DJI platforms can be brought together to provide an end-to-end precision agriculture package.

Skippy Scout Workflow For Crop Scouting

The Skippy Scout software provides a streamlined workflow for crop scouting and monitoring crop health. Turn DJI drones into agricultural platforms and use this information to take targeted action on your fields.


Data Collection

Full field coverage
Targeted Scout points
Leaf-level imagery



Interactive map of field
High-resolution imagery
AI-driven insights
Field statistics



Use this data to target specific areas
Conduct spraying or spreading with DJI Agras
Repeat scouting for trend analysis

3D Flight Path Planning

Navigating challenging terrain is now easier, thanks to digitised farming methods.

The DJI Mavic 3 Multispectral can scan and map target areas to identify all aspects of a field and DJI Terra can process this data to create maps and reconstructions for a range of agricultural insights. This information can then be used to deploy the DJI Agras T16 to specific areas.

In Orchard mode, DJI Agras drones can identify each tree, generate 3D flight routes based on their shapes, and conduct efficient spraying.


Data Acquisition

Mavic 3 Multispectral

Centimetre-level positioning
High-precision data collection
Fast, efficient mapping



DJI Terra

Real-time mapping
2D/3D reconstructions
AI-generated flight paths



DJI Agras

Spray fertilisers/pesticides quickly and precisely
Spraying method is precise
Easily cover tough terrain

Crop Protection Workflow

The DJI eco-system can be harnessed to provide a comprehensive solution to monitor crop health and generate treatment procedures.

The Mavic 3 Multispectral can scan target areas and generate multispectral charts that provide actionable insights into crop health and help formulate variable spraying and seeding maps.

Users can access DJI Terra shapefiles and apply them to spraying and seeding operations, carried out by Agras drones.


Data Acquisition

Mavic 3 Multispectral

Centimetre-level positioning
Data collection through multispectral sensors
Up to 200-ha imagery collection in a single flight


Field Planning

DJI Terra

Real-Time NDVI Mapping
Agricultural Shapefiles
AI Field Planning



DJI Agras Drones

Spray fertilisers/pesticides quickly and precisely
Cover a large area during each flight
Easily cover tough terrain

Farm Drone Case Studies

Real-world stories highlighting the benefits of deploying UAS for farming.

Drone AG Wheat field Management

"Drones effective for monitoring trial plot sites"

Drone AG has been using DJI drones, along with drone software packages Pix4Dfields, DroneDeploy, and Skippy Scout, to conduct wheat monitoring.

Jack Wrangham, of Drone AG, said: "Drones can be very effective for monitoring trial plot sites. This is because they can fly low to the crop, getting a high level of detail. Satellite imagery is simply not high enough resolution to see individual plots."

DroneAG used the drone to collect super high-resolution imagery of the plots. The team mapped the plots and flew over the sites at four key times throughout the season to identify early establishment, later crop progress, and possible disease detection.

This regular and precise data capture enabled DroneAG to identify progress and issues, and collect accurate comparisons.

DroneAG used its Skippy Scout software to automate drone flights to capture images close to the crop, with leaf-level detail. This is useful for trials plots, to see what is happening to individual plants.

Skippy Scout App

Agras Vineyard Protection

"Drones more efficient over steep terrain"

DJI Agras drones are being deployed for vineyard management.

Thanks to their automated operation and ability to access hard-to-reach areas, these drones have made vineyard spraying an easy and visible workflow.

Remote Vision is one company deploying DJI Agras drones for vineyard management, flying the MG-1P and T16 in Switzerland.

Tasked with preventing disease, the Agras drones are filled with a range of chemicals to protect the vines from the spread of powdery mildew and other fungal diseases.

The Agras drones can spray 100 litres per hectare and are able to target steep hills which are difficult to access by using a tractor.

Ueli Sager, from Remote Vision, said: "The client has compared drone spraying with earlier tractor spraying. The client is happy with drone spraying for a number of reasons, including no personal contact with pesticides, there is no phytotoxicity, and the DJI Agras is much more efficient over steep terrain."

Rogers Family Coffee Co.

"Drones allow precise mapping"

The Rogers Family Coffee Co. is using drones to create new management methods on their research farm in Kona, Hawaii.

Using DJI drones integrated with MicaSense sensors, the company is using vegetation indexes to allow them to track nutrient inputs, identify pest infestations, and visualise mountainous terrain.

Andros Bracamontes, Research & Development Specialist for the Rogers Family Co, said: "Drones are allowing us to precisely map the entire farm on a regular basis and we are now aligning the imagery with our management strategy. We used to have to hike around to monitor the fields, which can be a major challenge in the steep slopes of some of our farms. Now we can monitor by air in a fraction of the time and at an individual plant level.’’

Nutrien StrawberryPlant Surveys

"The drone helped increase profits"

Nutrien used DJI drones and solutions from SlantRange to improve a client's strawberry season.

The primary aim was to evaluate the crop for nutrient solutions, addressing crop issues as soon as possible and helping the grower realise the best yield possible.

During the process, Nutrien found that a drone was useful for a number of aspects, including precision and speed. Individual leaves on plants became visible using the drone solution, helping to identify pest issues, and resulting in quick preventative measures, while the ability to view data in the field, minutes after flying, was a huge advantage.

By the end of the season, profits had been increased and yields were improved.

Drones Vs Satellites

Which imaging method is best for agriculture?

Drones are more efficient and more effective for farming than manual methods. But how do they compare to satellites?

In truth, both have their advantages, and come down to the specific application.

However, there are certain times when drones have the advantage.

Take cloud cover, for example. Satellite imagery can be severely affected by cloud cover, limiting what can be seen. A drone, on the other hand, can fly closer to the earth, below the cover of cloud, to obtain the data you need.

There's also the issue of satellites flying around the earth within a certain time. If you want immediate data capture, it can be best to deploy a drone.

Because drones can fly closer to the ground, they can collect extremely precise data, taking shots to distinguish a weed or a crop, or show each particular plant. Because of its distance from the earth, a satellite can't capture that level of detail.

However, if high-precision is not a priority, then satellites can have the advantage, especially over big farms where they can cover a larger area.

Thanks to their wide scope, the collected image is complete, eliminating the need for image stitching. In contrast, because drone shots capture smaller areas, image stitching is needed following drone flights.

Another advantage of using satellites is that their records go further back. Thanks to this archive data, you can time travel and build a longer picture of your farm.

But, while the drones versus satellite question is valid, it doesn't always have to be a choice between the two. Rather, using them together can be extremely useful, spotting an initial problem through a satellite and then deploying a drone to hone in on the issue and tackle it precisely and quickly.