Drone has been used around for decades, taking to the skies to capture movie sequences, collect scientific data and scout territory. But there’s another industry where drones are really beginning to take off: agricultural drones for farming.
Agriculture is on tap to make up 80 percent of the market for unmanned aircrafts in the next couple of decades. With the invention of newer, more effective flight control, spraying pesticide flow control and big data technologies, drones have the potential to launch the agriculture industry into a future of sustainability.
Although drone technology is still modifying production to increase ease of use and lower prices, these machines already have the potential to go a long way towards improving farmers’ bottom lines – and the environment. Here are three key benefits of agriculture drone:
One of the major benefits of agricultural drones is their ability to scout farm fields both quickly and efficiently. Rather than having growers evaluate field’s manually on foot or by tractor, this technology allows farmers to gain immediate knowledge about the status of their fields in shorter periods of time.
New drone technology is very effective at collecting data to help farmers improve crop health. Equipped with sensors, drones flying over a field can collect plant height measurements by gathering range information from the plant canopy and the ground below. By measuring near infrared wavelengths through a multispectral sensor, drones can also create vegetation index images, indicating which plants are healthy and absorbing maximum sunlight.
Drones also create satellite maps that can help farmers make decisions about fertilizer precisely. Meanwhile, multi-rotor agricultural drone based aerial spraying are widely use now basing on its much higher efficiency than tradition spraying, easy deploying and precise spraying.
Thermal cameras are able to detect cooler, well-watered field regions as well as dry hot patches. Farmers can use this data to adjust field irrigation and avoid wasting excess water. This ability to increase water optimization is particularly valuable in drought-stricken areas.
And by increasing water and fertilizer efficiency, drone technology also helps reduce excess fertilizer that runs off into nearby rivers and streams. Less runoff decreases the algal blooms and dead zones in our water systems.
Partial from http://blogs.edf.org