June 16, 2021

The WheatCAP UAS Survey

The next WheatCAP will include an unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) component that will be lead by colleagues at Texas A&M AgriLife Research in collaboration with Purdue University. This way we will add a digital agriculture resource aimed at improving wheat crop productivity. One of the goals of this initiative is to develop a centralized database of UAS-based phenotypic data collected from multiple breeding programs, which, in turn, will help develop sophisticated phenomics tools.

Since the participating breeding programs have different levels of expertise and access to resources related to UAS technologies, it was important to determine the current status of every program. To this end collaborators from Texas A&M AgriLife Research conducted a survey among breeding programs asking about the current use of UAS data (capture, storage, exploitation), availability of platforms and sensors and presence of certified pilots within their teams.

Below we present the most relevant findings of the survey. You can get the complete report here (PDF file) and the detailed responses here (Excel file).

  • Nine out of 19 programs indicated that they had none or beginner’s level experience with UAS methodologies. The other 10 reported intermediate and advance levels.
  • When asked about specific capabilities, the positive and negative responses distributed more or less evenly across categories:
  • This variation pointed out the importance of a training effort to level capabilities across the WheatCAP participants. When asked about specific training needs, the responses were: