It is a huge investment to buy a drone and put it into work on your farm!
Agriculture is experiencing drastic changes when seeking to produce enough food and remain sustainable. Due to GPS, variable-rate applications, steering and remote sensing systems and farm management software the farmers can use various high-tech sensing instruments during the new agricultural era. Modern and precise agricultural technologies are being introduced and used to transform farming revolutionarily. That is, modern agriculture
revolutionizes the farmers’ working practices.
Through precise technology, farmers are able to optimize both agricultural productivity and profitability on the basis of real-time field information, thereby protecting the environment.
Which drones are there?
Unmanned aircraft (UAV), commonly called drones, are small air platforms weighing up to 20 kg (50 lbs). Because of their size, a human body (yet) cannotembark on them. Drones can be operated in two ways; directly, where a human has complete control over the vehicle via wireless remote; and autonomously, where the vehicle can control itself and follow a route based on GPS or other sensors data.
Initially used for chemical spraying, drones today are a great tool for capturing aerial imagery with cameras and sensors mounted on the platform. Images can range from simple visible-light photographs to multi-spectral images which can be used to evaluate various aspects of plant health, weeds and assets.
Drones gather raw data and use algorithms to translate it into useful information. They can therefore be used in various agricultural applications, such as the monitoring of the following parameters:
- Health of the crops; damage caused by pests, change of color due to infection with pests
- Indices of vegetation; area of the leaves, detection of anomalies, treatment efficacy, phenology, yield
- Height and density of plant;
- Plant scouting; size of plant, plot statistics, number of stands, compromised parcels, skips of planters
- Water needs; water-stressed field / orchard areas needing watering
- Soil analysis; nutrient supply to control plant nutrients
To sum up, drones help farmers more efficiently optimize the use of inputs like seeds, fertilizers, water and pesticides. This enables timely crop protection from pests, saves time for crop scouting, reduces overall farm production costs and secures high yield and quality crops.