Thanks to the development of the intelligent flight control, flow control meter and centrifugal nozzles, nowadays agricultural drones allow relief for the modern day farmer. Drone technology can cut down labor requirements and reduce resource requirements (such as fresh water and pesticides). Farmers are also able to use drones to retrieve aerial-view images of their fields; there are currently three different types of view provided to the farmer through a drone.
The first is seeing the crop from a birds’ eye view; this particular view can reveal many issues such as irrigation problems, soil variation, and of course, pestand fungal infestations. The second view that is able to be received from the drones is something that known as multispectral images; these images are used to show an infrared view as well as a visual spectrum view. When these views are combined, the farmer is able to see the differences between healthy and unhealthy plants.
This difference is not always clearly visible to the naked eye, so having the ability to see the crops from these views can assist the farmer with assessing crop growth, as well as crop production. Additionally, the drone can survey the crops for the farmer periodically to their liking. From a choice of weekly, daily, or to each hour, the farmer is able to use this information to show the changes in the crops over time, thus showing where there might be some “trouble spots”. This proves to be a key benefit because by identifying these trouble spots, the farmer can then attempt to improve crop management and improve the overall production of their crop.
As drones first started arriving in the agricultural world, the Federal Aviation Administration had actually encouraged farmers to use this new technology in the assistance of monitoring their fields. However, with the unexpected and successful boom of agricultural drones, the FAA had quickly retracted such encouragement until rules and regulations could be made and implemented. Although the American Farm Bureau Federation would like to still make small adjustments to some of the restrictions that have been implemented, they are happy that there has a meeting in the middle so that agricultural industry can actually use this new machinery without the worry of facing any legal issues. In short, by having legal guidelines to ensure safety and security aspects, this up and coming technology is allowed to finally start making headway in the agricultural industry.