|Bobby Vick of PrecisionHawk lands a drone.|
(Wilson Times photo by Drew Wilson)
North Carolina State University student Joshua Henry is collaborating with North Carolina Cooperative Extension and drone company PrecisionHawk to gather information about diseased tobacco plants interspersed with healthy plants over an acre on Vick Family Farms.
"We are looking at nitrogen, phosphorous, potassium deficiencies as well as magnesium and sulfur deficiencies and boron toxicity," Henry told Wilson. Henry, a doctoral student in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, placed about 50 plants with each disorder, 300 total, among an equal number of healthy tobacco plants.
Drones don't require much expertise, said PrecisonHawk solutions engineer Bobby Vick, whose parents own Vick Family Farms: "All you have to do is tell the drone where to go . . . The software is telling the drone what positions to go to and what altitude and speed to fly. The drone actually flies itself. Any one of us out here could fly these drones in five minutes time and feel comfortable doing it."