Hubertus Paetow’s new work tool is a drone.
Technology is part of everyday work life for this farmer and drone enthusiast from north-eastern Germany, who relies heavily on computers, GPS control technology and data networking.
Equipped with a digital camera controlled by his mobile phone, his drone provides valuable information: “I just enter the outline of my field into my mobile phone – just a rough outline. Then the app automatically calculates the best flight path for the drone, the shortest route,” he explains.
The images provided by the drone show elements that would otherwise go unseen, enabling Paetow to treat his field accordingly.
“These lighter spots on the picture show a mouse infestation,” he explains, pointing at the picture taken by the drone on a screen, “which you can control if you know exactly where the mice are. Here there is an area where these yellow spots indicate that there is a lice infestation. In the autumn, we didn’t treat this area against lice, and that’s why the damage shows there. On the rest of the field we were able to prevent further damage by treating it with insecticide. What also shows up here is a damp spot, which might require drainage, for example.”
While advanced machines are becoming the norm in agriculture, a new phase is underway. For this generation of farmers, the future is digitally connected agriculture, where machines swap data with one another, with the aim of boosting crop yields while reducing the use fertilizer and insecticides.