Drones in Agriculture: How UAVs Make Farming More Efficient

Drone fly just released a new infographic consolidating the most interesting contemporary uses of unmanned aerial vehicles in the field of agriculture. 

If you’re not familiar with these, have a look at one or two of the previous pieces we reported on. Drones are a tool like any other. They can be dismissed or misappropriated or used to one’s advantage. These days, people are finding all sorts of ingenious methods to increase efficiency and maximize profits using modern drone tech. Today, the subject of discussion is agriculture: How, when and where are drones used in this particular industry.

According to a Dronefly press release, the use of drones in the agriculture industry can basically be boiled down to four segments: Crop field scanning with compact multispectral imaging sensors, GPS map creation through onboard cameras, heavy payload transportation, and livestock monitoring with thermal-imaging camera-equipped drones.

Scanning crop fields has traditionally required large sensors and manned aircrafts. Thanks to rapidly advancing technology, this process now employs smaller, multispectral imaging sensors and UAVs. This reduces cost and provides a clearer understanding of crop health, thereby allowing for more efficient decisionmaking. 

Meanwhile, the GPS map creation provides farmers with a more accurate view of their property, and hence, a more effective and maximized ability to plan where crops should be planted. Carrying heavy items such as fertilizer or pesticides normally requires someone to operate a vehicle and lift said items manually, or at least, by operating heavy machinery. With UAVs, however, this is done at a reduced cost with autonomous deployment. In regards to the thermal imaging, users are now able to monitor their livestock and ascertain with complete certainty whether there are any missing, injured, or birthing animals in need. 

You may still have a few pressing questions, regarding how many farmers are actually implementing these modern aerial tools of ours. How many farmers are even considering it? Are farmers personally using UAVs, or are third parties involved? Which drones, specifically, are the most popular in this industry? Well, fortunately, Dronefly's infographic provides answers to all of the above and more. Let's take a look.

Hopefully, this has shed some light on the agricultural sector of our economy, and how drones specifically influence and affect it. As is evident by these facts and figures, the unmanned aerial vehicle is rapidly becoming an invaluable tool to this industry. Just recently, we reported on hobby drone company Parrot specifically targeting the agricultural world with its latest release. 

Farmland has been a perennial element of the American identity and its history. It's no surprise that the newest farm tool is the whirring, bird's-eye view-providing drone. What is surprising, though, is how rapidly this tool is reshaping an industry as age-old as agriculture. Stay tuned, as we report on how these developments in drone-related farming evolve.