Uses of drones in agriculture are booming day by day. Drones were previously thought of as law enforcement agencies’ tools, a toy, or a photography instrument used by professional photographers.
But with the latest and improved technology drones are being used in a variety of industries and fields. They are becoming a crucial part of the agriculture industry in various countries.
Drone technology is a phenomenal breakthrough that has far-reaching effects in today’s society, changing our lives and how we do business. The agricultural industry has welcomed drones and people are increasingly employing drones in this industry.
High technology drones are helping farmers in numerous ways including, pest survey, pesticide sprays, and irrigation control as well. We would now look into the applications of drones in agriculture in detail. So let us start…!
Uses of Drones in Agriculture: A Correlation
The basic application of drones in agriculture would be precision agriculture. Drones have a range of uses in precision farming from soil and crop field monitoring to planting and spraying of pesticides. With various imaging techniques, drones can be used in an effective manner.
These imaging techniques might involve hyperspectral, multispectral, thermal imaging, etc. These techniques are going to help farmers in a variety of ways including fungal infections and crop health.
Drones can also classify drier regions in a field and help farmers to devise better irrigation techniques. Precision agriculture helps farmers in a specific manner and helps them to detect and solve the problem employing limited resources.
Some Common Uses of Drones in Agriculture
Drone technology can help in reducing the time-consuming tasks and delivering quality results. There is a further boom expected in the usage of drones in the agricultural industry. Well, we will discuss some common methods in which drones are proving helpful.
Analyzing the Soil Condition
Extracting the data from the field by drones is proving to be much helpful in making future decisions. The analysis of the soil done before, during, and after harvesting the crop provides valuable insight into the soil condition.
In the past, extracting such data was hard physical labor and needed enough time. However, drones have reduced this time taking effort. As the drones are equipped with the latest sensors, they provide quality insights and accurate metrics of the soil.
Through accessing 3D maps of current soil, you will be able to see if there are any problems with soil quality, nutrient control, or dead zones.
The acquired information would help farmers identify the most efficient trends for planting, crop management, soil management, and more. Furthermore, the regular analysis of the soil would also help in managing water resources and other nutrients’ levels.
Plantation of Seeds
Although this technology is not widely used by farmers to plant seeds, it is developing with the time. Farmers and researchers are implementing this technology and better future results are anticipated. Researchers and manufacturers are basically trying to devise systems that would shoot seedpods into prepared soil.
This technology is going to reduce the on-ground plantation hard work and enhance the efficiency of farmers. This is also going to be cost-effective.
Mapping of Crops
The simplicity and efficiency of large-scale crop and acreage tracking is one of the main benefits of using drone technology. Previously, it was done through different costly techniques like satellite imagery, etc.
The other point which is important regarding drone imaging is that it is accurate and provides exact details about the field.
The latest uses of drones in agriculture have also helped in not only obtaining quality footage but helping in crop growth animation. The animation would provide farmers with an opportunity to see the potential harvest in advance.
Drone mapping and surveying are providing a real-time approach towards crop technology instead of outdated imagery through any satellite.
- The current crop life cycle
- Better opportunity to distribute land according to crop type
- Detailed maps based on GPS technology
- The overall health of the crop health
You can say that drones are helpful in better management of resources and also becoming cost-effective. Also helping in better selection of land for planting the right crop.
Spraying of Crops
We know that fertilizers and pesticides are more than crucial for agriculture nowadays. To obtain better yields, you need constant spraying of pesticides and utilizing relevant fertilizers.
We know that it was all done with physical labor in the past. Later on, vehicles were used for spraying purposes on a large scale. But we also know that those methods were time-consuming and costly as well.
Now with the latest approach of using drones in agriculture, costs have been reduced. Drones may have large tanks that can be filled with fertilizers, herbicides, or pesticides. But keep in mind that you need to obtain permission from the FAA first.
It is much easier and cost-effective to use drones to spray crops. It is even possible to control drones fully autonomously and configure them to run on different schedules and routes. For example, if in a certain section of the crops there is a breakout of the fungus, you can use drones to spot the problem.
As drones are very fast and swift, you can diagnose and treat possible crop problems quickly before they become a widespread problem throughout the entire farm.
You must also agree that in the past, spot spraying was a great problem in old times. If there were some spots affected by weeds or pests, you would need to spray the whole acreage. It’s a wastage of time and resources. For drones providing spot spraying, this same thing can be performed in less time, for less monetary resources, and lower environmental costs.
We know that the irrigation of crops is a difficult task and carries enough headaches. With large farms where you need to irrigate miles of a farm field, it becomes even more difficult.
Drones fitted with thermal cameras may help detect problems with irrigation, or areas that receive too little or excessive humidity. By using this information, farmers would be able to manage water resources and irrigation channels in an effective manner. This could also work in preventing water pooling that can harm sensitive crops.
Not only the irrigation and water issues are costly but they can also affect the yield. Due to these reasons, drones surveying might prove helpful to minimize such costs and optimize irrigation.
Monitoring of Livestock in Realtime
Drones are not limited to only field or crops but also useful in managing and monitoring of livestock. The thermal sensors in drones are helpful in spotting any injured animal in the herd. Drones would also be helpful to spot any missing animal from the herd.
In this manner, drones are helping to keep an eye on the herd all the time. So if you were thinking about drones and also thinking about their efficient usage, you must try them in this area as well.
We hope that you find this article helpful.