Why Agriculture Benefits With Drones
*Article from EasternPeak*
The use of drones for precision agriculture is gaining momentum because of their capability to deliver the most up-to-date info fast and efficiently. The evolution of drone software and its overall affordability also account for the increased application of drones. Let’s now explore how drones can be used for agriculture, more specifically.
Estimating soil condition
Smart farming is data-driven, enabling farmers to take action based on accurate information on soil conditions. Extracting this data had previously involved physical visits to the field and gathering metrics manually. Equipped with agriculture smart sensors, drones can collect and deliver this data – needless to say, they can also do it in a faster and more precise manner.
Planting future crops
The soil gets prepared for planting and a drone shoots seeds in it, rather than using outdated planting techniques. Using drones for seed planting is relatively new, yet, some companies are experimenting with this approach.
For example, Agmaps (One of the software’s we use) is an Ohio based company that uses drone technology to gather various field data and provide field side reports.
Fighting infections and pests
Not only can agriculture drones inform farmers on soil conditions using thermal, multispectral and hyperspectral technology, they can also detect field areas inflicted by weeds, infections and pests. Based on this data, farmers can decide on the exact amounts of chemicals needed to fight infestations, and not only help reduce expenses, but also contribute to better field health.
Smart farms also use drones for agriculture spraying, which helps limit human contact with fertilizers, pesticides and other harmful chemicals. Drones can handle this task faster and more efficiently than vehicles and airplanes; they are also a great alternative for farms that still use manual labor.
Drones are also irreplaceable when it comes to spot treatment. They can detect infected areas with sensors and cameras and work on them while leaving the healthy part of the field intact. This not only saves time and increases safety, but also helps reduce expenses.
Agricultural fields occupy large areas, and it’s often nearly impossible to estimate the overall state of crops. By using drones for agriculture mapping, farmers can stay updated on the health of plants in a particular area and indicate which field areas require attention.
To estimate the state of crops, drones inspect the field with infrared cameras and determine light absorption rates. Based on accurate, real-time info, farmers can take measures to improve the state of plants in any location.
In livestock farming, drones can keep an eye on the cattle as it grazes on pastures, reducing the need for human workforce on horseback and trucks. Using thermal sensor technology, drones can find lost cattle, detect injured or sick animals, and calculate their exact numbers. Admittedly, drones are capable of doing a better cattle surveillance job than herding dogs.