Farm and Agriculture Drones
Drone technology has been in commercial existence for at least three decades now, and it has evolved and given birth to several applications in almost any sphere of life. Agriculture, one of the mainstays of man’s life, has benefited immensely from this development in drone technology. In recent years, due to increased investments in drone technology and support from government — regulation-wise — custom-specific drones are developed for many subsets of Agriculture.
The population in the world is always increasing, and it has been projected to hit nine billion in thirty years. Farm practices have been modernized to increase food productivity as agricultural consumption is set to increase by almost seventy percent over the same period. Hence, government, agriculture experts, and technology developers are closer collaboration to ensure agriculture gains as much as possible with the developments in drone technology. There are a lot of ways in which drone technology are being deployed in farms currently, with latest improvements set to help with revolutionary strategies in agricultural production.
Crop production and management: One of the key issues in commercial agriculture is crop monitoring. Drones with the capability to help with issues in monitoring, especially in big farms with harsh weather conditions, provide a real avenue for a reduction in field management costs. It is also a better alternative to the risky human field management.
In large businesses, satellite imagery was adopted in crop monitoring, but farm drones provide a much better service as real-time videos are obtained, unlike ordering possibly imprecise images in advance in previous methods.
Also, with the use of advanced technologies such as ultrasonic echoing and Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR), agriculture drones can manage altitude changes. This auto-avoidance technology feature helps the drones in spraying chemicals. A review of latest improvements in aerial drone sprays informs that the farm operation can be accomplished up to five times compared to the traditional means, with improved efficiency in preventing them from penetrating into groundwater.
Health analysis: Agriculture drones are fitted with visible light (VIS), and near-infrared light (NIR) features that help them in the health analysis of crops. They are used in managing bacterial and fungal infections on trees, as they scan and identify variations from the norm.
Usually, plants reflect different quantities of visible green and NIR light and multispectral images are obtained. These images can be used to track variations to indicate how healthy they are. This feature has helped in saving a whole orchard as farmers were able to move in time. As treatments are applied, the drones allow for better monitoring and documentation, for knowledge and insurance purposes.
Soil analysis: Farm drones are now being deployed from when the crop cycle starts as they can be used in the early soil analysis when developing seed planting patterns. Also, the drones supply data that are crucial for irrigation and nitrogen level management. After the analysis for irrigation, the sensors help them identify why crops need additional moisture.
Conclusively, farm and agriculture drones have developed from only being military aviation technology. Currently, the market is estimated at over US$32 billion, according to experts. It has played and is still playing a huge part in ensuring we continue to exist.
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