Friday, 19 April 2013

'Skywalker': Aeronautical technology to improve maize yields

Phys.org reports on a project to design a low-cost unmanned aerial vehicle which helps to select the maize varieties which are best adapted to adverse environmental conditions

Drought and poor soil fertility are the leading production constraints in most maize farming systems and reductions in maize yield caused by climate-related stress may be increased under climate change. Skywalker is a remote-controlled plane fitted with a variety of specialised cameras allowing evaluation of the crops' growth, temperature and available soil water of large numbers of maize varieties in only a few minutes. This data will be used to improve the efficiency of maize breeding and speed up the development of drought and low nitrogen tolerant maize varieties for some of the poorest farmers in the world.

Read the full article here.