NEW functionality for its mobile app, means that the established Skippy Scout from Drone Ag can include 360° field imaging, plant counting and base station technology.

The new software, Skippy Version 2.6, can view a whole field with a bird’s eye view. Rather than only viewing individual scouting points, the new interface, 'Scout Spheres', offers high resolution overviews of entire fields combined with the ability to inspect leaf-level scout point data.

“We are the only provider to offer users a drone-enabled, full field overview that includes the ability to focus on any area of the field and choose where to inspect at leaf-level,” pointed out Drone Ag founder, Jack Wrangham.

It is capable of counting emerging plants 20 times faster than walking the crop and can handle cereals, OSR, soyabeans, beans, peas, and potatoes, offering an accurate total of plants in an image, as well as the number of plants per square metre.

“This development will enable existing and new users of Skippy to count emerging plants and then monitor the same fields to establish an accurate green area index (GAI) as the crop develops,” he said.

A new base station (Skippy Nest), is one of the first to offer autonomous drone flight by a user in any location. This will allow a member of the Drone Ag team to fly a user’s drone remotely. The farm can be located anywhere in the world and Drone Ag could connect with it to offer a field scouting service.

“We are starting commercial trials next year in the hope that we can launch the base stations shortly after.” The solar powered base station protects and charges the drone and can be remotely connected to by one of Drone Ag’s pilots.

“By operating in this way, we can offer farmers and agronomists a service that will scout fields up to 20 times faster than on foot and email them PDF reports of GAI, weed and pest data in real time.”

The new 2.6 version of Skippy (2.6) also features terrain aware route planning which halves flight times to maximise battery life and offer users the fastest scouting technology. “The amount of time being saved will enable farmers to concentrate on the problem rather than spend all their time finding it, only to find they are too late to make a difference,” he concluded.

The company had sought crowd funding to develop Skippy Scout and is now entering a third phase to help fund the new base station technology. “Crowd funding is crucial to our product development, and we are looking to raise a further £1.45m in this third phase which will open in October. Those interested can register their interest now at,” said Mr Wrangham.