A farming management idea that uses drones for agriculture purposes is referred to as precision agriculture. Drones are increasingly being used to monitor, quantify, and react to crop variabilities.
Agricultural Use of Drones
Whether its crop management or automated planting, drones can provide real-time tracking and surveillance. In the future, they will play a key role in the farming industry.
Using unmanned aerial drones for agriculture reasons is still in the early stages in New Zealand. However, Japan has been making use of drones for quite some time to aid growers of rice.
Agricultural drones have become almost essential to farmers. They are capable of totally revolutionizing and changing the agriculture and farming field as we know it.
With their high-tech systems, agricultural drones can enhance productivity: they can track the health of crops, scan for healthy soil, water the fields, add fertilizers, calculate yields, and monitor the weather. Further, they can collect and analyze data for immediate action.
Drones are capable of all farming duties, nullifying human mistakes in the process. Drones allow farmers to respond fast to threats (like pests and drought conditions) and aid them in optimizing ROIs and income down the road.
New Zealand AgDrone Applications
- Farming – management of blackberry, gorse, and noxious weeds.
- Crop surveillance – tracking and quantifying the health of plants.
- Animal surveillance – calculating statistics, or for management of grass.
- Weed management – in troublesome, difficult to reach areas like river banks.
Several of 2017’s highly-rated drones are used by the farming/agricultural industry:
Honeycorp AgDrone: comes with a wing made of a composite Kevlar fiber, a material that can’t be broken (like carbon fiber) or fall apart (like foam). It is strong, adaptable, and long-lasting.
DJI Matrice 100: comes with dual battery elements that permit a prolonged maximum flight time of 40 minutes, making it ideal for agriculturalists and farmers alike.
DJI T600 Inspire 1: great for agricultural use. It comes with a carbon frame, 4K video recording features, and individual camera and flight control.
Since 1991, Yamaha has been producing remotely piloted helicopters for commercial use. To date, their machines have accumulated more than 2 million fight hours overall. In Japan, more than 2,500 Yamaha remotely piloted helicopters are used for agricultural applications, such as pest control in 35% of the country’s rice fields. Remotely piloted helicopters are used in other industries for various reasons as well, like disaster prevention, academic studies, and surveillance tasks.
The AgDrone is perhaps the popular model among its contemporaries. However, the Inspire is worth trying out.
In New Zealand, farmers are fond of the Dronemate’s unique NDVI sensor which is functional with DJI drones. The sensors function on monitors that reflect NIR (Near Infra-Red) light. Plants that are healthy absorb light and reflect NIR; plants that aren’t so healthy reflect more light and absorb greater amounts of NIR. Mixed into an NDVI (Normalized Difference Vegetation Index), which is a plant health index, the sensor displays the positives and negatives on your farm.
A survey takes about 20 minutes. Afterward, you can see how healthy your plants are over a 20-hectare field on your laptop. If you’re under or over-fertilizing, or if any diseases are looming over the crops, such surveys can make decisions in real-time, saving you money in the process.
The standard camera on the drone works on the survey, too, producing data that can show precision maps in 2D and 3D, measure crop counts, plant height, and several other items.
A PwC (PricewaterhouseCoopers) report values the agriculture drone market at $32.4 billion, behind infrastructure.
Efficiency for agriculture is going to reach new heights with drone technology, especially since CAA is streamlining rules for aerial vehicles that are unmanned.
Recent statistics suggest that companies besides PwC anticipate an agriculture revolution via drones. Goldman Sachs believes that, over the next five years, agriculturists will be the biggest drone users in America and the 2nd biggest in comparison of usage by other nations.
Markets and Markets, a research organization, predicts that, through 2022, the agricultural drone market to rise at a 30% compounded average rate.
Legal & practical requirements needed to run an agricultural drone operation:
- You will need to take a chemical handling course, as well as a 141-certified organization-run 102-course similar to ours.
- The 2-day 102 RPAS intensive training course goes over every practical and legal element of operating a drone. The chemical management aspect of the course can be taken individually by our AG trainer.