Drone-Based Stand Counts Offer Accurate, Cost-Effective Alternative to Ground Sampling

It’s May. In fields across the northern hemisphere, corn and soybean crops will soon emerge in full force. As we enter this year’s growing season, stand counts are on the mind of every farmer. Evaluating plant emergence through stand counts is an important early season management question. Accurate counts and early intervention can mean the difference between a successful harvest or major crop losses. But traditional ground sampling is imprecise and often involves a high margin of error. AgriSens Plant Insights, available on the DroneDeploy App Market, offers a cost-effective alternative to traditional stand counts that is proactive and accurate. Drone-based stand counts let growers pinpoint areas of potential yield loss and take corrective action at key times during the growing season.

Agrisens is an ag-focused technology company whose research and development team includes PhDs in Agriculture, Bio-technical Science and Data Science. They leverage their expertise to develop new technologies that improve agriculture production through remote sensing solutions.

“AgriSens is about making agriculture better and more in line with what today’s technology has to offer. Our ultimate goal is to help farmers achieve higher outputs with high-end technology that is easy to use, easy to grasp, and easy to run.� -Rastko Carapic, AgriSens Chief Operating Officer

Thanks to AgriSens’ partnership with DroneDeploy, the company’s powerful stand count tool — as well as its sowing quality and weed stress reports — is available on the DroneDeploy App Market. With the app, users can count plants across an entire field using maps produced in DroneDeploy. In a matter of hours, growers receive a detailed report with information on plant counts and sowing quality. This level of data, delivered quickly and easily, has made AgriSens the most popular agriculture app on the DroneDeploy App Market among growers and ag-focused drone service providers alike. Read more about the most popular apps in our recently published Commercial Drone Industry Trends report.


This stand count report allowed a corn grower to take action quickly to avoid major yield loss.

Plant Count Tool Transforms a Drone Map into Actionable Data

When faced with a field showing poor plant emergence, you must take action quickly. Within a short window of time, you must evaluate whether in-season course corrections are worth the cost, or if it’s best to let the remaining plants run their course. But traditional ground sampling methods offer very little information by which to make these crucial decisions. They involve taking a sample and extrapolating it across an entire field, which often results in a high margin of error. At best, they offer a rough estimate of crop emergence.

Drone-based plant counts, on the other hand, allow you to get a full picture of the actual counts across an entire field. In the report shown above, a corn grower was able to obtain a complete stand count in a matter of hours, showing just over 155,000 emerged plants. Comparing the plant count to the grower’s targets, the report delivered a stark reality: 53% plant loss.

A potentially grim harvest was salvaged thanks to the actionable data the grower got from this AgriSens report. With a high level of confidence, the grower was able to make the decision to replant, saving thousands of dollars in lost revenue.


The AgriSens plant population report lets growers see which areas are most affected by plant emergence issues. Red areas indicate sections of the field where plants have not yet emerged.

Growers Pinpoint Specific Areas of Loss with Plant Insights App

Even the most accurate ground sampling still only gives you a sense of the total percentage of lost crops across a field. It does not give you specific information about which areas of a field have the lowest crop performance. AgriSens Plant Insights App, on the other hand, delivers precise data about every acre of land, with maps that pinpoint areas of low crop emergence.

It’s hard to overstate the value of this level of detailed information. You can now target interventions, saving money and manpower by re-planting only where it is needed most. As AgriSens COO Rastko Carapic puts it, “Aerial imagery paired with image analysis…can make agriculture businesses more productive: it can lead to significant cost savings, less work for farmer, and more accurate data…That’s what we want our users to achieve.�


AgriSense and the DroneDeploy App Market counted nearly 150K strawberry plants on a 9-acre field. That’s a lot of strawberries!

Not Just for Corn and Soy: Plant Counts Monitor the Transplant of Seasonal Row Crops

In addition to evaluating crop emergence, AgriSens and DroneDeploy are being used to monitor other seasonal row crops, including strawberries and transplanted tomatoes.

Toshiro Aoki works for a private farm in Northern California. During last year’s growing season, hundreds of thousands of tomatoes plants were transplanted on a 74-acre field by an outside company. Toshiro wanted to make sure the company was billing them only for the established plants. He paired DroneDeploy with AgriSens to quickly and easily get a plant count report that helped him hold the company accountable.

“The plant counting seals the deal. It saves us the trouble of having to go out and count the whole field.� -agriculture consultant Toshiro Aoki

AgriSens Extends Its Reach on the DroneDeploy App Market

Growers are not the only ones saving time and money by using the DroneDeploy App Market. Rastko Carapic points out that for AgriSens, releasing the plant insights app helped cement the market position of the company.


Chief Operating Officer Rastko Carapic performs field tests of AgriSens technology using a fixed wing drone model.

“The people we want to reach are farmers, entrepreneurs, drone operators and fans of modern technology,� Says Rastko. “Thanks to the DroneDeploy App Market, we’re able to reach all of them in one place. This saves us a lot of time, energy, and resources.�


Chief Operating Officer Rastko Carapic out in the field testing the AgriSens app.

In addition to the obvious business benefits, Rastko also appreciates that, when it entered the DroneDeploy App Market, AgriSens became part of a larger drone services ecosystem.


Chief Operating Officer Rastko Carapic performs field tests of AgriSens technology using a DJI Phantom 4.

On the DroneDeploy Market, Rastko says, “Users share their experiences with others, recommend services and come back to us with suggestions and ideas for new projects…It feels great to be a part of a movement that keeps reshaping and improving agriculture every single day.�

Where to Learn More

To learn more about how the Plant Insights App can help your ag business, check out AgriSens on the DroneDeploy App Market. Read more about the benefits of leveraging stand counting apps in our recent case study.

If you’re interested in learning more about the benefits of drones in agriculture this season, tune into our upcoming Drone Clinic taking place on May 17th to learn more about the capabilities of the DroneDeploy platform, and how to put your drone to work this season on the farm.

Get Started with DroneDeploy

Want to learn how DroneDeploy can help your business? Visit www.dronedeploy.com to start your free trial or request a consultation with one of our team members. The DroneDeploy mobile application is available for free download for both iOS and Android devices.



DroneDeploy and AgriSens Deliver a Powerful Stand Count Tool was originally published in DroneDeploy’s Blog on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

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