Drones have dramatically changed operations in many industries and businesses, including agriculture. Agriculture drones can be used for various purposes such as managing livestock and keeping track of their health, as well as soil analysis, seed planting, plant pollination, weed and disease control and tree and land mapping. Here is a comprehensive insight into the uses of agriculture drones.

Tree and land mapping

Orchard farmers may use agriculture drones to make precise calculations for canopy coverage and tree and row spacing. The drones may also help farmers who have large pieces of land to easily map out and get accurate measurements of the property. This helps plant operators and other farmworkers to avoid flooded areas and electric cables. Using agriculture drones is preferable to a ground-based system since the latter system is time-consuming and involves a lot of travelling.

Weed and disease control

Drones may be used to spray fertilizers or pesticides on crops, forested areas, or orchards. Drone spraying comes with benefits such as access to unreachable terrains, ease of spraying taller crops such as maize, prevention of soil compaction, and reduction in the amount of time, fuel products and labour wasted.

Plant pollination

With the reduction of bee populations, plant pollination has consequently decreased, hindering agricultural production processes. Scientists have come up with drones to help do the job without causing damage to the plants.

Managing and monitoring livestock

Drones are equipped with thermal imaging cameras that enable a single operator to manage and monitor livestock. This makes it easier for farmers practising large-scale livestock farming to trace and access their livestock easily and frequently.

Seed planting

Drone planting is one of the latest technological advancements in the agricultural industry. Some companies use drones that are sufficiently stocked with elements needed for proper plant growth, including tree seeds, fertilizers, herbicides, and water. This reduces the time and costs associated with on-the-ground planting.

Soil analysis

Before, during, and at the end of crop cycles, drones may be used to analyse the components and quality of the soil. This is achieved through obtaining 3D maps of the existing soil which enables the soil analysts to see if there are any concerns about soil nutrients, quality, or dead zones, hence farmers may choose the most effective planting patterns and manage soil nutrient levels.

There’s no doubt that drones have become widespread across many businesses and also for personal use. The agricultural industry is just one more sector where this technology is making an impact.

Photo: Drone by NRCS Oregon licensed under Creative Commons 2.0