Low-resolution images mask crop variability, Panbecker says, but higher resolution images that zero in on small areas cost more. “It’s cost effective to first think through your goals. That will help you decide if you need quick turnaround, and what resolution you need,” he says. He recommends cloud-free images, usually from low altitude flights.

Other recommendations:

1) Find a supplier that can produce data that makes the photos meaningful agronomically and economically.

2) Ground truth the aerial photos to confirm what you think you see in the photos.

3) Use a supplier who will help develop an action plan based on imagery and ground-truthing to overcome crop problems identified