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Drones in agriculture and farming

The use of unmanned aerial vehicles in agriculture is growing as these agricultural drones become more popular alternatives for a range of services. These drones are fitted with sensors and digital imaging tools to help monitor fields more accurately for efficient agriculture.

Why are they so popular? Drones offer a bird's eye view of entire land segments, allowing for comprehensive assessment of pest and weed infestations, soil quality and consistency, and irrigation problems. Fertilizer or pesticide spraying drones are highly efficient and accurate when compared to traditional methods. For farmers on the ground, the difference is not always visible especially when there is only a marginal decrease in quality across different parts of the field.

Drones offer increased farm efficiency. They can be set to survey the agricultural area periodically, allowing farmers to monitor changes to their farm over hours, days, weeks or even months from the comfort of their homes. However, drone use in agriculture has raised some concern over the potential for collisions with crop dusters, as well as a number of privacy concerns.

How have drones benefited agriculture and farming?

With drones, farmers are able to monitor and improve the efficiency of their agricultural efforts. It has proven to be a useful tool in a range of scouting and mapping applications, such as a scouting tool for new fields, a survey aid for large tracts of land and an easy way to check crop sections. Drones have changed the way farmers look at agriculture. These are the key benefits of their incorporation into this sector.

Increased productivity

Agricultural output has faced the need to drastically increase to meet the demands of a rising global population. With the United Nations projecting a 9 billion strong global population and an up to 70% increase in agricultural consumption, the industry has had to incorporate advancements in technology to improve output.

The ability of drones to meet increasing output demands in agriculture and to displace the outdated technologies in use cannot be overstated. Farmers who are switching from satellite imagery to drones have experienced a boost in productivity. Satellite imagery is extremely analogous. Farmers have to order it beforehand, can only retrieve it once a day and will have to manage the lack of precision due to the expansiveness of the images and their vulnerability to factors such as the weather.

With drones, farmers can quickly analyze their entire fields and tabulate precise results. UAVs can also take up multiple sensors, which can combine to offer higher quality assessment than an experienced human eye might. The result is increased productivity for farmers who have taken up drone-powered agriculture.

Reduced pollution

Agricultural runoff, brought about by pesticides and fertilizers is always a major concern. While these chemicals are crucial to plant growth, they can impact human and environmental health. The use of these precision instruments in agriculture has made it easier for farmers to apply these potentially harmful substances in a very accurate manner, which works to reduce the possible consequences.

Drones can provide precise data on the health of plants, which reduces the likelihood that farmers will engage in brute force application of these substances. They can be equipped with sensors to assess altitude and ground topography, which could be used for precise application.. This eliminates the need for over spray, which could significantly reduce pollution on a large enough scale.

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