Posts Tagged ‘UAV’

Malawi must harness the innovative minds of its youth for a climate smart future: Blessings Likagwa

By: Jennifer Johnson

Blessings Likagwa has a passion for farming. The 29-year-old farmer from Kasungu, Malawi was recently recognized by the 2019 MAIZE Youth Innovators Awards – Africa for his work using data from drones to implement climate smart improvements on his maize farm, and inspiring other local farmers to do the same. Blessings is the first ever winner in the “farmer” category of the awards.

These awards, an initiative of the CGIAR Research Program on Maize (MAIZE), recognize the contributions of young women and men below 35 years of age who are implementing innovations in African maize-based farming systems. This is the second year of the awards, and the first time to be held in Africa. The award ceremony took place in Lusaka, Zambia during the annual Stress Tolerant Maize for Africa (STMA) project meeting May 7-9, 2019.

Blessings Likagwa poses with his award at the 2019 MAIZE Youth Innovators Awards – Africa. Photo: Jerome Bossuet.

Remote Sensing for phenotyping tar spot complex in maize

by Carolyn Cowan

Multispectral and thermal images taken by cameras on unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) are helping researchers to monitor the resistance of maize to foliar diseases.

A new study from researchers at the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT) can reduce challenges associated with plant disease assessment in the field. By deploying cameras mounted on unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) that capture image information from non-visible sections of the electromagnetic spectrum, the interdisciplinary team demonstrated the effectiveness of remote sensing technologies in maize disease phenotyping.    

“Plant disease resistance assessment in the field is becoming difficult because the breeders’ trials are becoming larger, the trials have to be conducted in multiple locations, and because sometimes there is a lack of highly trained personnel who can evaluate the diseases,” said Francelino Rodrigues, CIMMYT Precision Agriculture Specialist and co-lead author of the study. “In addition, the disease notes taken in the field by a human eye can vary from person to person depending on the persons’ experience.”

Preparing the UAV for radiometric calibration for multispectral flight over a maize tar spot complex screening trial. CIMMYT’s Agua Fria Experimental Station, Mexico. (Photo: Alexander Loladze/CIMMYT)