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Drones in agriculture –everything you need to know

The use of drones in the agricultural sector is considered a significant move in today’s modern farming. In fact the subject of agricultural use of drones become a trending one. Drones are types of unmanned aerial vehicles that can be used to collect data for the purposes of making informed decisions in farming. In the modern farming, farmers are faced with diverse challenges that need advanced technologies and much consideration to overcome. For example, farmers have to deal with issues such as the quantity and quality of water, changes in climate, glyphosate-resistant weeds, quality of soil, commodity prices fluctuations, as well as increase in the prices of inputs among other challenges.

There is a common practice among growers in which they are turning into high technology tools based on the perception that they are form of the precision agriculture; and offer response and mitigation to some of the above challenges.

What are agricultural drones?

Over the past years, there has been an improvement in agricultural drone technology. With such improvement of this technology, farmers are apparently enjoying diverse benefits of the use of drones in farming ranging from spraying, crop-dusting to surveying. While viewed from the surface, agricultural drones have no difference from the ordinary drones. However, the use of the unmanned aerial vehicle abilities make these drones applicable for use in agriculture.

Drones are changing many aspects of agriculture

Agriculture drones are considered to be an advanced and effective way that farmers can use in the collection of field-level data that can be used in decision making. The results of data collected through the use of drones are on high demand. Drones are easy and quick to deploy. In addition, getting results from drones is easy and fast as it can take at maximum a day. They have revolutionize the way farmers can get the required data conveniently and immediately.

While it appears that the use of drones in agriculture is an advanced technology, the best thing is that it is relatively affordable. All you need is a modest capita investment. Drones are fast and operating them is relatively simple. Furthermore, they are highly reliable and safe. In the event that you have a running crop-scouting workflow, integrating drones into that workflow is easy. The reason for this is that you can have the drone deployed as you make a visit around the field so that they can gather data on the crops from above.

While the drone, as a hardware is really advantageous the significance of the use of drones in agriculture lies it is ability to collect quality data, its convenience, as well as the end use of the collected data.

Agricultural drone technology

There are various drone-based technology used in agriculture.

  • Precision agriculture

This type of technology is used in the management of farmland. It is a technology that is aimed at achieving efficiency of farm inputs like fertilizer and water for the purpose of achieving maximum yield, quality, and productivity. In addition, this form of farming is used in the minimization of diseases, unwanted flooding, and pests.

The use of drones makes it possible for farmers to monitor the conditions of livestock and crops over the air for establish various problems that cannot be identified through ground-level spot checks.

  • Surveying/Mapping

Drones are significantly used in surveying or even mapping crops through a relatively simple way. The availability of flight planning software in some drone models makes it possible for the farmers to draw their coverage area. Additionally, the software can be used in making automated flight paths, as well as make camera shots. There are onboard sensors fitted on the drones to take pictures using GPS.

  • Spraying/crop-dusting

Nowadays, you can use drones to spray pesticides or even fertilizers on crops. Such drones are important in that they offer much precision to the process of spraying and dusting crops than the use of the traditional tractors. Crop-dusting and spraying using drones is cost-effective and avoids cases where workers come into contact with the pesticides which can harm them health-wise.

Future of drones

The drone technology is a significant addition in agriculture. With the increase in the challenges affecting farming such as changes in climate, weather and soil composition, drones remain to be an important solution to some of these problems. Its ability to reduce the cost of operations, as well as give reliable information makes drone technology one of the technologies that will be consumed on a large scale.

According to a research carried out by the Business Insider, there is a high expectation on the use of agricultural drones in the future. It is expected that by 2021, more than US$21 billion will be used in the acquisition of drones. However, specific analysis shows that more than US$ 1 billion will be used on agricultural drone market. The increase in the awareness of the advantages of drones in agriculture will be responsible for the high growth in agricultural drone by 2024.

Additionally, the advancement in technology and its continuous use in agriculture will play a significant role in the demand for agricultural drones. As well, the fact that some mechanization requires much skills will push the demand for use in agriculture.

Overly, agricultural drones are very important in the success of the modern agriculture in a number of ways. They can be used in the reduction of the cost of operation, cost of inputs, as well as in ensuring high productivity in farming. The prospects show that drones will become a part of us in the future due to their importance in agricultural productivity. However, there are various models of drones that can be used in agriculture nowadays. If you are planning to use a drone for use in your farm, it is advisable that you make careful consideration based on your needs to ensure that you choose the best model.


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