Benefits of Drones in Farming
- Increase Yields: Improve production, efficiency and get higher yields by identifying problems before they happen with increased crop health awareness and frequency.
- Save time: Drones can be set up and deployed quickly. This ease of use allows farmers to gain information routinely or whenever they need it.
- Plan for the future: Generate precision orthomosaic maps for better crop planning and land management.
Agricultural drones have been changing the face of farming and cultivation heavily the past 3-5 years, and completely changing the way that many farmers and other entities go about their business. These drones have the ability to check storm damage, monitor crop progress, and make sure that both crops and herds are healthy.
Precision agriculture is a farming management concept that uses drones for agriculture to measure, observe, and respond to variability found in crops.
When you implement all of the new technology that is available out there including drones in agriculture, you can apply resources (even if limited), to make sure that the farm has a very maximum yield.
For the best results while doing this, geo-tagged images taken of fields, real-time feedback and logs, and crop yield and other data are all used to take note of any changes to make for the farm’s health.
As weather conditions become more intense, hail storms do damage, and other very important elements such as drought and pesticide use require farmers to make very important decisions, these drones for sale are so powerful and innovative that they can ease the burden a bit.
It’s fast becoming clear that drone technology has the potential to revolutionize the way we do plenty of things.
But aside from giving us the opportunity to shoot the perfect wedding videos or capturing political rallies, it’s obvious that UAVs stand to make a meaningful difference in any industry where ground needs to be covered quickly.
A perfect example of this is in the world of agriculture. From automated planting to crop management and real-time monitoring, drones have an important role to play in the future of farming.
Crop Monitoring and Health Assessment
Drones can leverage existing technologies to improve crop farming. For instance, for over 40 years, agronomists and scientists have used Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) to assess the health of crops and plants. NDVI was created when scientists learned that a plant’s unique reflection of a combination of visible red light and near-infrared (NIR) light gave a good indication of plant health — far superior to what the reflectance of visible light can reveal. NDVI is a single measure that characterizes this information. In precision agriculture, NDVI data provides growers with an accurate measurement of crop vigor and allows them to zero in on problem areas that may need further attention.
NDVI information is captured by NDVI sensor which processes wavelengths of light outside of those captured by regular RGB cameras, like you have on your cell phone. Advances in technology have allowed for integration of high-quality NDVI imagers onto drones and now some companies offer sensors that integrate onto several of the most popular UAV platforms. Even the smallest consumer-grade drones with accurate NDVI sensors can rival any expensive remote-sensing platform. And when combined with sophisticated NDVI analytics, and comparative data from previous flights, significant progress can be made in crop planning, optimizing inputs and recognizing crop health issues before they become major problems.
Measuring equipment—ultrasonic echoing and lasers such as those used in the light-detection and ranging, or LiDAR, method—enables a drone to adjust altitude as the topography and geography vary, and thus avoid collisions. Consequently, drones can scan the ground and spray the correct amount of liquid, modulating distance from the ground and spraying in real time for even coverage. This results in increased efficiency with a reduction of the amount of chemicals penetrating into groundwater. In fact, experts estimate that aerial spraying can be completed up to five times faster with drones than with traditional machinery.
Drones with hyper-spectral, multi-spectral, or thermal sensors can identify which parts of a field are dry or need improvements. Additionally, once the crop is growing, drones allow the calculation of the vegetation index, which describes the relative density and health of the crop, and show the heat signature, the amount of energy or heat the crop emits.
Drones with thermal imaging cameras allow a single remote pilot in command to monitor livestock. The operator can check in on the herd to see if there are nay injured, missing or birthing animals. Drones give livestock farmers a new way to keep an eye on their animals at all times, resulting to greater profits and management.