Howdy reader? After flying and making drones for more than 3 years, I never thought drones will be useful to our farmers until I designed a drone for the same purpose. It was an amazing experience for me as I got to see how drones are impacting our day to day lives. Wondering how drones are used in agriculture, Here’s what they are being used for in agricultural field: r
- Solving irrigation problems.
- Checking for fungal and pest infestations.
- Monitoring crop growth and increasing crop production.
- For aerial seeding.
- Similarly, For checking soil variations.
This is just the tip of the iceberg as these are only a few of many other applications. Let’s take a look at each one of them.
How Drones Used In Agricultural Practices [Summary]
As I have said earlier, Now we’re going to discuss everything in great detail. So stick with me till the end and trust me I won’t let you down.
1. Solving Irrigation Problems
A lot of people use drones to solve irrigation problems. Let me explain how Drones equipped with the right cameras and types of equipment make it easy to monitor various areas in the agricultural field. Under-irrigated areas (causing salts to accumulate) can be monitored with the help of it. And not only this, It can check for the hotspots which are over-irrigated. Remember this, Over-irrigation affects plant growth a lot like leaching of Nitrogen and other micro-nutrients in the soil.
2. Checking Fungal or Pest Infestation
Looking through each part of the agricultural field in search of fungal as well as pest infestation is a haunting task. If you have been through that you know the pain. Therefore, you get to see drones’ true potential here. A well-equipped drone can be used for finding infestations that sometimes get overlooked by human eyes. An aerial view of the agricultural land is generated through the drone imaging system. Thi generated-view is later used by the farmers for tracking the infestation by going though it manually or using A.I (or, Machine Learning Algorithms). Either way, it makes the task easier and merrier which can take weeks on a big chunk of agricultural land.
Why do I think it is better? In the United States, insects and fungal/pest infestations cause $120 billion of damage every year. That’s for the U.S. only, Think about the damages caused by it all around the world.
3. Monitoring Crop Growth & Increase Production
Drones can be used manually or set to automatically monitor the plant growth daily, weekly, or monthly. It helps farmers in identifying plant growth in various areas in the land by taking continuous images as per set frequency, thus revealing possible trouble spots.
After these areas or spots are identified by farmers, it can be used to improve farming methods and increase farm production.
4. Aerial Seeding
This is one of the best applications of the drone in an agricultural field. Want to know why? As everyone gets to fly the drone and spread the seeds on the field using drones.
Is it better? Yes, It is. You must be thinking how? Don’t worry, I’m here to help. If we use a drone for spreading the seeds across the land. It will be faster and easier because it is a more efficient approach than traditional approaches. As drones can spread the seeds consistently throughout the agricultural land which in turn can help in improving plant growth.
If we look at this approach carefully, Can you think of other similar applications? You got it. Spraying fertilizers, irrigation, and plucking of certain plants (i.e. weeds) can be done with the help of the drones.
5. Checking Soil Variations
Pheww, Coming to the last application. Wait, I remember more applications now. Holdup after I end this point. So the soil is one of the most critical factors while growing crops. Overlooking it is not an option. Here drone comes to rescue as looking through whole agricultural land is a horrifying task for anyone.
Using the drone imaging system several images of the land can be generated. Later farmers use these processed images generated using different camera imagining technologies to identify soil issues. This reduces a lot of hard work and time needed to put in this task.
Some Other Applications
Use the drone for obtaining multispectral images of the agricultural land. Multispectral images reveal a somewhat IR view as well as a visual spectrum view. The combination shows the farmer the differences between healthy and unhealthy plants, a difference not always clearly visible to the naked eye. Thus, these views can assist in assessing crop growth and production as mentioned earlier.
It’s true that the sky is not the limit. So this applies to drone technologies too. As using drone technology can help us identify drought-prone land and help us prevent the upcoming horrific event.
After going through all the points above, You must have understood how drones can have a huge impact on the farming industry. If I’m not wrong in the next 4-5 years, We’ll see a huge surge in drone use for agricultural purposes.
|YEAR||EXPECTED INCREASE IN DRONE USAGE (AGRICULTURE SECTOR)|