Crop Scouting Tips

Hi, was wondering if anyone had some good tips when it come to crop scouting and plant health map with RBG camera? Was wondering how high to fly, overlap settings and best time of day to fly? Better if sunny or not? Any info will help. Thanks

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DD has lot of info about this on their site. In my experience flying 400 feet for crop health saves time and batteries, and the results are just as good. Accept DD default overlaps, speed and ground contour. Run the camera on auto focus and exposure. Sunny day around noon is best, but I’ve gotten good results earlier and later. Stand counts can get confused with shadows. Experiment with the graph sliders to get results that explain the most. DJI P4 V2 working very well for me.


Thanks for the Info. Seems pretty straight forward.

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I agree with everything you say except I avoid mid day because the drone causes a halo like streak on the map.

I agree on this kind of subject you’ll want to be as high as your GSD requirements will allow. From what I have seen with others altitude is usually around 300-400ft AGL.

@dsearles Do you run a specific white balance our just let DD do everything? I really hope the plan to give us more control of the camera is still in the works.

I’ve been a photographer for most of my life, sometimes professional, so I totally agree with controlling the camera. But – letting DD set the camera (probably actually the DJI software), including the white balance, has worked very well for me, don’t think I could improve on it. Am flying almost 100% crop surveys in very rural flat areas where my biggest problem is wind. When I use the drone manually have to remind myself to set the focus.


With the timing of our missions and the characteristics of the materials we capture I have found sunny to work pretty much all the time so that’s really the only other thing we need besides exposure compensation.

I see in the ‘Advanced’ tab: 1) a low light setting and b) another slider to enable ‘set exposure manually in DJI Go’ and c) to set focus manually. Setting the exposure manually in DJI Go takes a bit of poking around (in ‘camera settings’) but is easy to use. And best of all you can see what you get right away. I do not miss film photography on SLRs.

What kind of construction maps to you make? All I’ve done, so far, is measure piles and pits (e.g. drained lake) which worked astonishingly well. Have a neighbor who creates large scale water control projects with CAD models created by drones, an enormous time and money saver.


Most of our stuff is site progress. We start with existing conditions, each major phase of construction and the asbuilt once the project is complete.