How Are Drones Used In Agriculture?
Updated: Jan 7, 2021
Agriculture producers are adopting revolutionary strategies for producing food, increase their productivity, and making sustainability a priority. Drones are a great solution for them. Practical applications for drones are expanding very fast in the industry. Drones technology will give a boost to the agricultural industry, with planning and strategy based on real-time data gathering and processing. Following are the ways how drones help in agriculture growth:
Soil and Field analysis:
Drones can be used at the start of the crop cycle, as they produce a precise 3-D map of the field which is very useful in the planning of seed plantation patterns. After planting, it also provides data for irrigation and nitrogen-level management.
Drone-planting systems have been created that can achieve uptake of 75 percent. And it can overcome 85 percent of the planting cost. These drones shoot seeds and plants nutrient into the soil. And provide all nutrients to the plants to sustain life.
Distance-measuring equipment, ultrasonic echoing, and lasers or LiDAR enables a drone to adjust altitude as the geography and topography differ, and this can also avoid collisions. Similarly, drones spray the correct amount of liquid on the ground, from a specific distance and sprays in real-time for even coverage. This will increase efficiency with the reduction of the number of chemicals penetrating groundwater. And this is estimated that with the help of drones we can complete the aerial spray five times faster than with traditional machinery. This saves much of our time.
The main obstacle in farming is that the farmers are not much efficient in crop monitoring as they have many vast fields. With the change in weather conditions, we face difficulty in monitoring the field. Previously, satellite images are used to monitor the fields. But they were many drawbacks. As the images had to be ordered in advance, could be taken only once a day, furthermore, the services were very costly and the images’ quality was not as much good. Nowadays, time-series animations can show the precise development of the crops and overcome the production inefficiencies and enables better crop management.
With the help of hyperspectral, multispectral, or thermal sensors, drones can easily identify which parts of a field are dry or need improvements. And when growth starts, drones help to calculate the vegetable index, which describes the relative density and the health of the crop. It also shows the heat signature, and the amount of energy or heat the crop emits which provides a great help in farming.
It is much helpful to examine crop health and spot bacterial or fungal infections on trees. Using visible and near-infrared light, a drone can identify the plants which reflect the different amount of green light and NIR light. This helps to produce multispectral images that detect changes in plants and indicate their health. This can help us to save an entire orchard. As soon as we discover sickness, farmers can apply and monitor remedies more precisely. These possibilities can increase a plant’s ability to overcome the disease. And in the case of crop failure, the farmers will also able to document losses more efficiently for insurance claims.