Drones was initially introduced for battlefield and war. But now it is fastly moving to other fields and helping us in doing things easily. Similar to other areas, Use of drones in agriculture also assist the farmers to monitor their farms and improve the productivity. The number of farmers who are adopting this technology for their crops is increasing vastly. Use of drones in agriculture field has changed the entire way to farming in the past few years. Drones are helping the farmers in hundred of different ways to increase their productivity. Today, we are going to talk about some of the best uses of drones in agriculture/farming.
What Drones Do:
The question rising in our mind right now is that what actually drones do?. Use of drones in agriculture or farming can help the farmers in monitoring their crops, keep an eye of birds and animals(that can damage the crops) and much more. It is actually a low-cost technology, so every farmer can easily afford it. We do need a fast and tremendous grow in agriculture field as the population of the world is growing highly. So the farmers are vastly picking the drone’s technology as they know about those circumstances. Below are the few main tasks that every farmer can easily do by the use of drones in agriculture/farms.
Taking the abilities of drones on a side, There are also some cons of using drones in the agricultural sector. Some drones have the very short time of flying(No more than 1 hour). So you have to charge it again and again which is not really beneficial for the crop. Using drone is also ban is few countries so read the law about drones before buying it for your farms.
Types of drones:
According to a survey, every fifth farmer in the USA is adopting drones technology for their farms. There many hundreds of different drones in the market with different prices and features that you can buy. Below is a list of few best drones along with their features.
AgDrone is one of the best drones that you can use in agriculture to increase your productivity. This drone comes with everything that you will need to make it operational like hardware, software and flash drive. AgDrone will cost you about $10,000(about 1 million Pakistani rupees) and its battery timing is between 30 minutes and 1 hour. You can also access this drone from your PC, tablet and smartphone. AgDrone can help you in thermal imaging, multispectral NDVI and stereoscopic.
2) DJI Matrice 100:
Using DJI matrice 100 drone in agriculture field is on peak now. The best thing about DJI matrice 100 is that it comes with the dual battery which can expand its timing up to 40 minutes. It has the best farming features like GPS, controller and light bridge feature, that can navigate in most difficult tasks. DJI matrice 100 drone will cost you 3,300 US dollars.
3) eBee Ag:
The price of eBee Ag drone id $5,000 and it comes with a standard camera. You can also create the 3D thermal maps of your farms by buying add-ons for it. This drone is specially designed for agriculture to monitor crops. eBee Ag drone has the ability to check the health of plants from the air. Using infra-red cameras can help the farmers that either the crops are growing or not.
Lancaster drone has been introduced by the US-based company that has too many features for the agriculture industry. The device comes with a 30 minutes video training that can help the farmers in operating it. Lancaster can work in any weather conditions and detect the problems in crops. This drone offers weather information, topography mapping and temperature. Lancaster drone is a bit expensive as compared to other drones and its price is $25,000 US dollars.
5) DJI AGRAS MG-1:
It can pick the weight up tp 10 kg in the form if fertilizers. DJI AGRAS MG-1 can work properly in dust and corrosion. The speed of this drone is 40 times more faster than other spraying systems. It is one of the best drones that you can use to monitor your crops. This drone will cost you about $6000(About 600,000 Pakistani rupees).
Use of Drones in Agriculture:
Now coming back to the main topic of our article “use of drones in agriculture”. Using drones can make the agriculture a high-technology industry. Below are the different ways in which you can use drones in the agriculture industry.
1) Soil and field analysis:
It is crucial to analyse the soil of field before planting the seed. It used to take many days for soil analytics in the past. Drones that are designed for agriculture can create the 3d maps for the soil analytics that can help creating plans and patterns for seed planting.
Latest and high-cost drones come with planting system. This system can plant the seeds up to 75 faster than manual methods. It’s not over here, planting seeds through drones can also decrease the cost up to 80% because what you need to do is just charge your drone and do it.
3) Crop spraying:
Drones nowadays come with a feature that enables you to adjust the topography and area which can avoid the collisions. In simple words, drones can scan the ground through its video recording features and tell you that where is liquid, where is dust & everything within minutes. So you will spray the chemical in right places without wasting a single drop.
4) Crop monitoring:
It is the best feature that is making the use of drones in agriculture very attractive. Normally, farmers have to sit and walk in their farms for an entire day to monitor and save it from animals, bird etc. But drones are making this tough easier than ever. It can monitor your farms in every weather and condition. Monitoring crops through drones is cheap in cost because you have to buy the device only once.
Just like the crop spraying, latest drones can help you in finding the dry and damaged places in your farms. They can also help you in checking the health of your crop either they are growing or not. Drones with the thermal sensors can help you in identifying that how much energy do crop needs and how much they are getting.
6) Health assessment:
As I told above that drones can help you in checking the health of your crop. The 5 drones I listed above comes with the visible and near-infrared light that scan your crop and tell you about the infections on them. This feature informs you about the infections on plants with the help of images. They do it very fastly and save your important time.
7) Irrigation Equipment Monitoring:
It is hard to monitor the crops if they are more than 1 in numbers. Drones can also help you in this matter. Those drones will inform you once after your crops reach the limited height.
8) Mid-Field Weed Identification:
many drones come with the NDVI sensors that create weed map of our farms. This will help you in identifying the high-intensity weed areas in the middle of your farm. So you will be able to protect the growing plants from the them
9) Variable-Rate Fertility:
Using the NDVI features if drones, You can determine the strength of nutrient uptake in one farm. It has the ability to pick and apply the 60 pound of fertiliser in needy areas. 50 pounds to the middle areas and so on.
10) Farm Analytics:
Agriculture drones can make images, maps and capture data from its infrared and HD camera. By combining all of this data, you can create a complete highlights/result to analyse the difference between healthy and unhealthy plants.
So these are the top growing use of drones in agriculture. If you are in the field of agriculture and still using the traditional ways to farming then do try a drone right now. This will not only save your time but also increase the productivity of your farms.