Using Drones in Agriculture

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Agriculture is a substantial part of our society. While many might view farming as something of the past, they underestimate the size and scope of this industry. Drone, on the other hand, are relatively new technology. Drones in agriculture seamlessly blend two different industries in a complementary way.

Agricultural drones are just one of the many ways we can enhance and serve an industry. While Sky Eye Films does not currently offer AG services, this article will give you very interesting information about the use of drones as an exciting adjunct to food production and agriculture. If you are interested in learning to fly drones or aerial film footage and photography, take a look at what we have to offer and call Sky Eye Films today.

DRONES IN AGRICULTURE

While drones have been used in commercial ways for nearly three decades, practical use for these flying crafts has increased drastically in recent years. Technology and innovation have expanded, while regulations have decreased, creating the perfect storm for increased drone use. One of the fields benefiting the most is agriculture.

Drones have enormous monetary potential in the industry, an estimated $127 billion, according to a PricewaterhouseCoopers survey. Agriculture is one of the top sectors set to benefit from this boom. Drones can solve, or help solve significant problems.

One of the many problems facing agriculture is the rising population. The population of Earth is expected to top nine billion by 2050. Feeding that many people will be no small task. Furthermore, weather events are happening more often and creating additional problems.

With the use of agricultural drones, the AG industry has the potential to be revolutionized. With this technology, farmers and ranchers will be able to plan and strategize using up-to-the-minute information based on data that was gathered and processed in real-time. PwC estimates that drones will have a $32.4 billion impact on the agricultural industry in the following ways.

Analyzing Soil and Fields

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Farmers can use drones in agriculture at the beginning of any crop cycle. Drones can create accurate and detailed 3-D maps. These maps can be used to analyze soil, which is useful when planning a pattern to plant seeds.

After planting the seeds, data provided by agricultural drones can be used to plan irrigation. In cases where nitrogen-level management is needed, information from drones is vital.

Planting

One thing the agricultural industry is always looking for is ways to increase productivity and decrease cost. Using drones in the planting process has been shown to do both of these. In some startups, an uptake rate of 75% has been observed while planting costs have gone down by 85%.

The system will insert pods containing seeds as well as nutrients for the plants directly into the soil to achieve this incredible success. This process ensures the plants have everything needed to grow.

Crop Spraying

When you think of crop spraying, you probably picture a small plane circling a field and dropping dust or liquid onto growing crops. New technology can make this process much more efficient.

Using agricultural drones to spray crops can save farmers a significant amount of money. Drones can use distance-measuring equipment, both ultrasonic echoing, and lasers, to accurately detect the layout of the fields below. A drone will avoid any crashes with trees or other barriers using this technology.

Agricultural drones are also able to use technology to get a layout of the ground to ensure the appropriate amount spray is used. The drone will correct for distance and height, making sure the spray is even throughout the fields.

All of this means that crop spraying can be much more efficient using drones. This fact is suitable for everyone as fewer chemicals will seep into groundwater and get into drinking water.

Crop Monitoring

One of the farmers biggest obstacles is monitoring their fields. Some farms are incredibly vast, and humans alone cannot thoroughly watch all of the plants. Add to this task terrible weather, which sometimes ruins a significant amount of the crops.

Farmers have relied on images from satellites to monitor their fields. However, even this advancements has its negative aspects. These images are expensive; they had to be ordered ahead of time, and could only be taken one time a day. Also, the pictures taken were not always accurate.

Using drones in agriculture can help this process immensely. A drone can operate in one area more often than a satellite and can take extremely high-quality images. Furthermore, a drone can take a series of images to give a better representation of what is happening in the field.

Farmers using drones can better analyze how particular crops and fields are developing and accurately pinpoint any problems or inefficiencies in their production. All of this leads to more precise managing of crops to lower the cost of production.

Irrigation

Agricultural drones have different types of sensors, either hyper-spectral, multi-spectral, or thermal. Each of these sensors can help farmers identify and problem areas in a field, like where they are dry, and where to make improvements.

Sensors can also help monitor the fields while the crops are growing. A drone can quickly and accurately calculate the vegetation index, which is what farmers use to understand how dense and healthy the crop is, as well as how much heat plants are emitting.

Health Assessment

It is vital that farmers can check the health of their crops. Monitors for growth, as well as any bacteria or fungus growth, is essential to ensuring a healthy plant.

A drone can use infrared light to locate which plants are reflecting green or NIR light. A series of these images can be used to monitor changes in plant health. Noticing problems or dangers early on can save entire fields. Furthermore, remedies can be tracked to ensure success.

Being able to detect illnesses early, as well as monitor mediation can help farmers ensure a successful crop. In the case of substantial loss, there is documentation for insurance purposes.

Call Sky Eye Films

If you are interested in learning more about drones, how they are used, or even how to become a certified UAV pilot, Sky Eye Films is ready to help. We have experience assisting various industries to increase their production and revenue with drones. Contact us today for more information about the ever increasing field of drone use for fun and profit.