For Jack Laurie, using a drone as part of farming practices is a no-brainer on his family's Gloucester property.
He began using the technology at the start of 2018 to check on the livestock and monitor the overall state of the farm on the Moppy property, west of Gloucester.
"I use it to check the fencing in the higher elevation areas of the property," Jack explained.
"Our property is extremely hilly and some areas can only be accessed on horseback or by ute."
These hard to access areas of the 2300 hectare property can become tricky to navigate when using horses or utility vehicles, making the drone a safer option.
But it's not just about accessibility and safety, it's also about time.
A trip that used to take 20 to 30 minutes can be done in just two by using the drone.
"It's a lot less time consuming," Jack said.
"We can also check on the water supply to keep an eye on the blue green algae."
Blue green algae may produce toxins that can affect the nervous system or the liver of livestock resulting in serious disease and potential death, so keeping an eye on the property's dams means they can fence the cattle out of the danger areas.
As the family business is all about the 1500 or so beef cattle, the drone has become a vital part of the husbandry process, as well as reducing the stress levels on the herd.
The drone can fly over and check on the livestock in a less invasive way, without the sounds of vehicle engine or the disruption of headlights.
Jack explained how stress in cattle can lead to numerous problems from erratic behaviour causing injury to affecting the quality of the meat.
"You can check on the cattle without disturbing them," Jack said.
"It's really good during calving season, when you can fly out to check a cow while she's calving.
"It's already a stressful time and this reduces the stress levels."
Drone use on farms is still relatively new, and the life of the battery can become an issue on larger properties, but it's only a matter of time before the technology improves.
Recently, the State government announced an extension to its Quad Bike Safety Improvement Program which includes rebates for farmers wishing to buy drones.
The drone rebate will be offered as part of an extra $2.8 million dollars in funding, offering $500 rebates for farmers who wish to buy drones
The existing program offers two rebates worth up to $1000 each to replace an existing quad bike, or have it fitted with safety equipment like roll bars, as well as a free helmet and training.
Farmers can apply for the existing quad bike rebates and and the new $500 drone on the SafeWork website.
For more information call 13 10 50.
Since SafeWork’s Quad Bike Safety Improvement Program was introduced, more than 3000 farmers have accessed it, and about 250 training events have been held around NSW.