agricultural drones

Agricultural Drones Are Changing Farming Forever

Drones have changed the way we conduct warfare, deliver mail, and take pictures of our world from above. Now, they’re changing how we farm too – and it’s about time. Agricultural drones are making it easier than ever to take high-resolution photos of crops in their natural environment, providing precise information that lets farmers tailor the care of their plants to their specific needs. The result? Higher yields and overall better health for the crops themselves, which can save farmers money in the long run.

Using Drones to Monitor Crops

In fact, agricultural drone company PrecisionHawk recently completed a survey of its users and found that more than half planned to purchase additional drones within six months of completing their first drone purchase.

Automating Fields With UAVs

The use of unmanned aerial vehicles, or UAVs, in agriculture is also increasing. For example, a company called CropX uses drones to automate repetitive tasks in fields. This can lead to increased productivity and higher yields for farmers and businesses alike.

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Increasing Precision Agriculture

The way we manage our crops is constantly changing. The old days of spray and pray are long gone. Farmers now want to know exactly how much fertilizer or pesticide their fields need, without risking costly overspray and runoff. Thanks to aerial drones, farmers can get a complete visual read on their crop—from canopy-level photos down to individual plants—allowing them to better target areas for treatment and assess overall health of each plant. In an industry that’s desperate for efficiency, it’s no wonder agricultural drones are taking off.

Expected Industry Growth

The agricultural industry is expected to grow from $305 billion in 2016 to nearly $500 billion by 2025, according to Business Insider. And drones are only going to play a bigger role. As farmers get more familiar with using them and as they become more affordable, they’ll be able to do everything from monitor crop health and soil quality to spray pesticides on specific plants. In fact, one study found that drone use could increase crop yields by up to 20 percent—which could help feed an additional two billion people by 2050. According to a report published in PrecisionHawk’s State of Drone Industry report last year, agriculture is one of the fastest growing industries for drone technology; it’s estimated that farmers will spend around $700 million on commercial drone services in 2017 alone.

Introducing Artificial Intelligence

A rapidly-developing technology is expected to make a huge impact on farming. That’s right, artificial intelligence. Here’s how it works: First, farmers use computer vision to train an algorithm to recognize features in their fields, such as trees or plants. To learn more about Artificial intelligence click here.

How Can We Encourage Faster Adoption?

So what are some steps that government and industry can take to encourage faster adoption of UAVs? One possible avenue is low-interest loans. Just as farmers receive low-interest loans to purchase machinery, they could be offered cheap loans for investing in new technology like drones. Another way would be tax incentives; if farmers received a $500 credit on their taxes for every acre of farmland using UAVs to monitor fertilizer levels, it would not only help adoption but also grow conservation awareness.

2 Reasons Why Farmers are Slow to Adopt Drone Technology

For many farmers, one of the biggest barriers to adopting drone technology is cost. While it’s true that a majority of farmers don’t have access to drone technology, UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles) aren’t as expensive as you might think. In fact, today’s drones are much more affordable than their previous models. Other reasons for slow adoption include lack of expertise and long-term commitment to traditional methods. For example, many small farmers may not be able to hire someone with enough knowledge or skills to operate a drone. However, drone training courses are getting more advanced in order to fill these gaps in training.

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107 thoughts on “Agricultural Drones Are Changing Farming Forever”

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