Alnwick farmers get a bird’s eye view of their crops

Two farming brothers have come up with a mobile phone app to help fellow farmers get a bird’s eye view of problems in their crops.

Saturday, 11th May 2019, 17:06 pm
Jack Wrangham flying a drone.

Jack and Hugh Wrangham, of Drone Ag, based in Alnwick, have developed Skippy Scout, which uses a drone to send immediate information about crops to a smartphone.

Now they have launched a crowdfunding campaign to raise £250,000 for the next stage of its development.

Jack, co-founder and director of Drone Ag, said: “The implications of a growing population and pressures on global food supply means that agritech is developing rapidly. It’s this technology which will drive improvements in agricultural efficiency while providing methods to protect the environment more effectively.

“Our ambition is to bring easy to use, economical technology to farmers, to help them make better decisions. We believe that Skippy Scout will bring huge improvements to efficiency and accuracy in agriculture and food production and we’re excited about bringing it to market.”

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Drone Ag’s Crowdcube funding page – www.crowdcube.com/droneag/ – has currently raised nearly 30% of its target.

The funds will help the business develop new features, increase the company’s staffing and take the product to market over the next 18 months.

Jack said: “It’s important to us that we encourage investment from the very communities that will benefit the most from Skippy Scout, as well as reach all those interested in improving global agriculture and food production, through technology.”

Skippy Scout flies a drone around a field, taking high resolution photos of the crop, which are sent directly to the user’s smartphone. The drones can cover up to two hectares per minute of flight, making the crop scouting exercise up to 10 times faster than a person on foot.

Drone Ag, founded by Jack and Hugh in 2016, provides drone training courses and software solutions that help make farming more efficient.