Since their invention in the 20th century, drones have been considered one of the century's most multipurpose and resourceful innovations. Drones have managed to infiltrate many areas of the economic sphere, be it medicine, filmmaking, and today's focus, agriculture.
Their extreme efficiency is attributed to their ability to perforate and reach areas humans cannot physically access or tasks they cannot perform fast. Like in all fields, drones in the agricultural scene ease the process of food production by improving work efficiency and productivity, decreasing the workload and production cost, and refining the accuracy of performed tasks.
Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), widely known as drones, have been used for commercial purposes since the 80s. Because of their increased practicality when used, different sectors of the economy, such as agriculture, have undergone a significant transformation.
Drones and Food Sustainability
Drones have provided solutions to major previously existing challenges in the agricultural sector. These solutions have been embraced wholly, especially since the world population is projected to hit nine billion by 2050. Stakeholders and experts, therefore, expect agricultural consumption to hike by seventy percent over this period.
As the years advance, there is increasing pressure to work toward food sustainability, where achieving it becomes more challenging thanks to extreme and unpredictable weather changes and events known to cause global warming. Farmers and others in the industry can use drones on large and small-scale operations.
You can also operate the drone from your smart device when not using it for calls or playing your favorite games on Slots Capital Casino, as long as it is configured to do so. Most organizations and farm managements operate drones from computers and laptops.
4 Ways Drone Technology is Being Used in Agriculture
Agriculture, with its large expanses of physical space, is perfect for the use of drones. Let's see what's being done today.
1. Improved planning and strategizing
Drone technology improves operations significantly since planning and strategizing are based on real-time data that is continuously gathered and processed. Aerial and ground-based UAVs are utilized differently throughout the crop cycle.
In the soil and field analysis before land preparation for planting, drones produce precise 3D maps for early soil analysis, which is vital when planning field patterns. This analysis equips the farmer with information on what type of irrigation will be most effective in specific areas and how to manage the soil nitrogen levels.
2. Crop planting
Another way drones are changing the game is in crop planting, where drones have been specifically designed to shoot pods with seeds. Additionally, they shoot plant nutrients into the soil, giving plants the necessary nutrients for growth.
These planting systems have significantly increased the uptake rate, ridiculously reducing production costs.
3. Crop spraying
Distance measuring equipment, ultrasonic echoing, and lasers such as those used in light detection allow drones to adjust their altitude as the topography and geography of your farm change, preventing collisions. Today drones have the technology to scan the ground below, spray the right amount of pesticide, etc.
Throughout the exercise, it will continue to modulate distance from the ground while spraying in real time, hence even coverage. This culminates in enhanced efficiency and a drop in the level of chemicals penetrating the ground. Experts have estimated that spraying of crops is five times faster when done by drones than by traditional methods and equipment.
4. Crop monitoring
Crop monitoring is a significant area where drones save the day. Vast fields and low crop monitoring combined are the ultimate farmer's obstacles. Monitoring challenges are made worse by unpredictable weather conditions, which hike risk and field maintenance costs.
Unlike in the past, today, time-series animations can show the precise development of a crop and unearth production inefficiencies, enabling better crop management.
The use of drones in agriculture has been growing recently as farmers look for ways to improve efficiency and yield. However, some issues must be considered when using drones in agriculture, including regulations, safety, and privacy. Here is a breakdown of each issue.
Problems Facing the Use of Drone Technology in Agriculture
As with all things, the good has a bad side that needs to be dealt with, as well. Such as….
There are several regulatory issues that you need to consider when using drones in agriculture. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has strict rules about flying drones in the United States, and farmers must obtain a special exemption to use them. In other countries, like Australia, there are no specific regulations around the use of drones in agriculture, but farmers are expected to understand the general aviation rules.
Drones can pose a safety risk to both people and animals. Globally, there have been many incidents where drones have hit people, and there is also a risk of animals being injured if a drone strikes them. As a farmer, you should consider these risks when using drones on your property.
Another issue that must be considered when using drones in agriculture is privacy. They can be equipped with cameras; if flown over someone's property, they could potentially record images or footage of people without their permission. That could lead to a violation of privacy rights.
Drones greatly benefit the agricultural community as tasks that farmers found impossible or difficult to manage are now much more manageable because of UAVs. Before purchasing any drone or using any on your farm, research that specific drone.
Also, look into what the laws in your state or country have to say about drone usage.