Drones are no longer a fantasy, far off in the distant future. They are here! And they’re ready to get to work.
Farmers face a lot of struggles daily but drones might be the solution they’ve been waiting for. Worldwide we are facing ever changing and sometimes extreme weather conditions, financial struggles and problems keeping up with the need for food outweighing supply. It’s about time we used science to develop drones further so they can be put to work on our farms for smart agriculture.
Drones are simply remote controlled aircraft that you control from the ground. There are many kinds available, from the simplest with just a camera attachment to high-tech drones that can among other things scan the ground below and assess the geology and soil health of the area.
We’ve been using drones for work for several decades now, but it’s only in recent times that science and technology have advanced them enough to assist with agriculture in new ways.
Here are 3 extraordinary ways that drones are assisting farmers to boost productivity and improve the efficiency of precision farming.
An Extra set of Eyes
Drones are miraculous. They can scan with such precision and map every little contour and corner of your fields in a way that human farmers rarely can.
Imagine being able to monitor your crops without having to leave your desk. Farm management is a busy occupation, so having a drone you can trust to accurately monitor your crops and highlight areas that need attention is a great asset. While you’re focusing on finances or day to day running of your farm, a drone can be a quick and incredibly precise way to map your crops from the air.
Furthermore, drones can even go as far to assess the health of your crops too! They’re not just tools to gather the data you need, they can make a start on analysing it too. Using time-series animations, drones offer a cost-effective way to monitor the growth of your crops regularly, quickly and with a high degree of accuracy – something difficult to obtain with satellite captured images, the current weapon of choice for this particular farming difficulty.
Drones are extraordinarily effective at analysing the soil of your fields from so high in the sky. The right drones can produce 3D maps and data outlining the soil nutrient levels and help you to make farm management decisions from the very start of the crop cycle. With your drone data you can carefully choose where to plant your crops. Drones are the epitome of precision farming.
Using thermal and other kinds of sensors, drones can detect which fields (and specifically which areas within those fields) need some extra irrigation. Dry patches are detectible from high up and the more you use your drones to detect these dry areas the more data you have at your disposal to analyse.
Drones really are an incredibly useful asset in agriculture. The data they can collect from their viewpoint in the sky is indispensable and could hold the solution to many precision farming struggles farmers currently face.
An Extra pair of Hands
Not impressed by the precise mapping and aerial assistance that drones bring to farm management? Prepare to be amazed: drones are increasingly practical and can handle much of the manual tasks that would potentially take you days.
Did you know that a drone, from the sky, can plant crops for you?! Hard to imagine but it’s true. It is worth researching more closely to see how this could become a reality on your farm.
Many of these drones are still prototypes or currently being tested but the science behind it is truly fascinating and becoming very real. Shooting the seeds right into the earth allows for immaculate precision farming. If a patch of low-nutrient soil can only sustain so many crops, you can adjust for that while planting in different quantities elsewhere in the very same field, or you could choose to avoid that patch all together.
Crop spraying: its tedious but often essential. Why do it yourself when you can have a drone spray the field for you? Using lasers and distance detection a drone can accurately spray just where you need it without wasting it where you don’t. It calculates wind speeds as well as the nutritious value of the soil to determine where to drop its spray for maximum effect – the pinnacle of efficiency.
A Solution for the Future?
There’s no mistaking that smart agriculture and precision farming are needed to keep up with the growing demand for food in a world with a booming population. But it’s more than that. The financial strain on our farmers worldwide has been increasing with no sign of letting up – could cheap drones be the solution to stressful farm management?
Not only can they be a hell of a lot cheaper than hiring a farm hand to help with the day to day farm management, but already they are proving to be many times more efficient than humans, saving farmers even more money.
To analyse an entire field manually, picking out places that need the most spraying is such a long, arduous job that you’d be better off just spraying the entire field. With a drone, however, it’s done in a flash with remarkable precision.
Drones are saving us time, money and boosting productivity to efficiently grow fields of bountiful crops. How far will they go in the future? It’s hard to believe that before the 19th century people couldn’t imagine how powered machines could do the hard-manual labour jobs better than the farm workers themselves, yet here we are, the modern farmer.
While some of these drones are still in the development phase, it’s not difficult to find a cheap, simple drone online to test their abilities. Drones may just be that next big step in smart agriculture.
What have you got to lose? Why don’t you give it a try today?