This is not a story about an exotic animal farm. Palominos have been around since recorded history. Horses will likely remain the steeds of ranch hands and feedyard pen riders.
The first three-wheeled ATVs have since given way to the Gator, a John Deere UTV. Some said these wheeled beasts foretold the demise of the ranch horse. Although they have taken over some tasks, the ranch horses demise was exaggerated.
Information gathering in the 21st century must also occur on the ranch and in the feedyard. A parrot may now perform that work from the air. The Parrot Bebop is a small drone that has a great camera. Its capabilities are far less than the DJI Phantom that Barger Drone sells, but both drones can see much more than the horseman or all terrain vehicle driver. The next advance in efficiency is an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV). A drone.
Why would you spend money on a machine that is a glorified toy? Your relatives said the same thing about that three-wheeler. The current drones can fly for up to 25 minutes on one battery, at speeds of up to 40 miles per hour, at a range of nearly three miles from your remote control. The 14 megapixel camera can show you a lot at 400 feet elevation, and at 25 feet. Although the wind impairs their battery life, a DJI Phantom can generally handle winds up to 20 miles per hour. Our proprietary horn will herd cattle.
A drone will neither rope a calf, nor herd a stubborn bull. But in the time you spend catching and saddling Spur, or getting the Polaris off the trailer, your younger hand has already checked the windmill to make sure water is in the tank. By the time you get through the gate, the drone has already surveyed most of a circle of corn for the isolated cow in a corner. In the time you spent getting to that isolated cow to see the legs sticking out the back, your hand has landed the drone, has hooked onto the trailer, and is enroute.
Drones will not replace Spur or the ATV. But they will save you time, and possibly a few head. Bouncing out to check that tank is over-rated, as is spending hours trying to find if that wandering bull is still with your cows. These drones are just getting started. Automated flights to check the water and the fence, along with automated cattle counting, are in sight. Measuring grass growth in each paddock, and which heifers are in heat, are around the corner.
Add another tool to your management tool box. Let Barger Drone help set you up with a drone package that fits your needs and budget. In many areas, we have contractors who can help you learn to fly and use your new tool. It’s time to take the next step.