Researchers say drones help detect potato issues

Researchers say drones help detect potato issues
Posted at 11:36 AM, Jan 25, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-25 13:43:38-05

POCATELLO, Idaho (AP) -- An Idaho State University research project was able to detect crop diseases in potato fields early and accurately using drones.

The Capital Press reports that researchers led by assistant geosciences professor Donna Delparte mounted high-tech cameras on drones flying 60 meters above potato fields and were able to detect individual diseased and stressed plants.

University of Idaho plant pathologist Louise-Marie Dandurand was also able to differentiate between ailments using advanced sensors.

Delparte says her group is now working on a way to automate Dandurand's research to identify the diseases faster.

Delparte's project started in 2014 and was funded by the United States Department of Agriculture and the Idaho Department of Commerce's Global Entrepreneurial Mission. J.R. Simplot Co. also helped Delparte with soil analysis, crop expertise and grower recruitment.