An agriculture drone can simply be defined as an unmanned aerial vehicle which is used in the farming sector to help increase crop production as well as monitor the growth of crops. Agriculture drone services are revolutionizing the industry by providing a high-technology makeover.
To improve farm profitability, farmers make use of drone technology to bring precision agriculture in the following ways:
- The emergence, inventory, and yield forecasting. This eliminates the need to sample the number of plants by making use of drones and artificial intelligence to count plants in an entire field.
- Comprehensive crop monitoring. Rather than having to take soil samples or scouting.
- Precise input management.
Making use of agriculture drones also introduces precision agriculture. It is a farming management concept which uses drones for agriculture to measure, observe, and respond swiftly to any variabilities found in crops.
Agriculture drones have a significant amount of room for growth within the industry, with technology constantly improving. This paves the way for farmers to make more educated and informed decisions to improve their overall profitability.
Agriculture planning and strategy
Planning and strategy can now be based on real-time data gathering as well as processing through the following six ways, amidst numerous others.
Drone agriculture planting systems have been created to achieve an uptake rate of 75%, subsequently decreasing planting costs by 85%. These drone systems shoot pods with seeds and they plant nutrients into the soil, providing the plants with the nutrients necessary sustain live.
Also known as aerial seeding, it is considered a broadcast method of seeding as it can efficiently cover large areas in the least amount of time.
Agriculture drone spraying
This makes use of distance-measuring equipment such as ultrasonic echoing and lasers, enabling the drone to scan the ground and spray the correct amount of liquid.
Agriculture drones for spraying fertilizer and pesticidesare of cardinal importance for crop yields, with these drones becoming more common for this application due to their speed and effectiveness in spraying operations.
Agriculture drone spraying in South Africa can be done in a variety of ways using several popular and effective drones.
Drones can be used to monitor crops in real-time, helping farmers overcome challenges faced by unpredictable weather conditions, amidst others.
Drones are equipped with special imaging equipment known as Normalized Difference Vegetation Index, or NDVI, which uses detailed colour information to represent the health of plants. Through this, farmers can monitor their crops as they grow, and it allows farmers to deal with problems and challenges swiftly enough to save their crops.
In addition, the same technology can be used to monitor the conditions of fields with drones providing accurate field mapping. This includes elevation information which allows for any irregularities in the field to be detected.
Drones are fitted with hyperspectral, multispectral, and thermal sensors, helping the farmer identify which parts of fields are either dry or in need of improvement. Once all crops are growing, drones can be used to calculate the vegetation index, showing the relative density and health of the crop, show heat signatures and the amount of energy that the crop emits.
Crop health can be assessed easily by using drones and, in addition, bacterial or fungal infections can be easily spotted on plants and trees. By making use of visible and near-infrared light, drones can easily identify plants that reflect different amounts of green light and NIR light.
This information can subsequently produce multispectral images that can track changes in plants and thus indicate their health. With speedy responses, farmers can save crops and orchards easily.
In addition, once sickness is discovered, farmers can apply and monitor remedies more effectively, improving the ability of the plant to overcome diseases. Should a crop fail, farmers can make use of drone technology to document losses for insurance claims.
Frequently Asked Question
- Analysis of fields and soil
- Planting of crops
- Spraying of crops
- Crop health and yield monitoring
- Health assessments
Drone technology in agriculture refers to the development of drones specifically for a variety of agricultural applications. This includes, but is not limited to:
- Scouting land and crops.
- Inspecting for weeds and spot treating plants.
- The planting of crops and spraying of fertilizer.
- Monitoring the overall health of crops, and more.