Could drones help reduce the use of antibiotics in livestock? Researchers at Texas A&M University are hoping that using drones equipped with thermal cameras can take the temperature of herd animals to help monitor the health of cattle.
Brent Auvermann, director of the Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Center in Amarillo, said Monday afternoon that the use of automated technology such as drones is a continuation of work in precision farming, a type of technology-assisted farming.
“If that temperature is above a certain threshold, the pediatrician is going to suspect that the child has some sort of infection,” Auvermann said. “We’re looking for the same kind of thing in animals, and truthfully, in crops as well.
“Veterinarians already use thermal imaging in their clinical practices, for example, to detect lameness in horses. If the hoof has been damaged, thermography can be used to locate the damage, because the body is naturally trying to send healing biochemicals to that area through the bloodstream.”