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Utilising Drone Farming Technology Is The Future of Agriculture

Updated: May 30, 2022

Agricultural drone use has become more essential on both large and small scale farming. The data collected from drone farming help farmers practice more sustainable methods to achieve the best possible yields and it is part of a system generally referred to as precision agriculture.

Drone flying through a farm

Precision agriculture, also called precision farming, refers to the targeted practices that help farmers manage crops to ensure the efficiency of inputs. There are many factors involved in farming like water, temperature, fertiliser, to maximise productivity and achieve quality crop yields.

It also involves minimising pests, unwanted flooding and disease, and other risks involved with large-scale farming. It removes the guesswork and wastage associated with the traditional ways of farming methods. After all, the farmer will need to make better-informed decisions in the long run.

While agricultural drones have not yet made it into mainstream agriculture practices, they play an increasingly important role in precision farming. Drone technology allows farmers to constantly monitor crop and livestock conditions by air to quickly find problems that would not become apparent in ground-level spot checks. This paves the way with sustainable farming practices to keep up with the demand to feed the world’s population.

Drone on a Farm
Drone on a Farm

How Do Farmers Use Drones?

The use of drones in almost every economic industry is growing fast thanks to their versatility and flexibility to provide immediate visibility and results at a higher and wider range. Drone farming in Australia’s agricultural industry is booming. Let’s discuss the different utilisation of the agricultural drone farming technology:

Part of the capabilities of agricultural drones is to spray crops with more precision than a traditional tractor. Aerial spraying helps reduce costs and minimise the risk of potential pesticide exposure to farmworkers.

Automated drone seeders are primarily being used in forestry industries, but the potential for a more expanded use has already begun on the agricultural front. Planting with drones will mean those very hard-to-reach areas can be replanted without endangering workers.

Newer agricultural drone models to map out the area come equipped with flight planning software. As the drone flies, it automatically takes pictures using onboard sensors and the built-in camera while equipped with a GPS.

Scouting/Monitoring Plant Health

Drone field monitoring is also used to monitor the health of soil and field conditions from the get-go. This maximises productivity, quality, and yield.

Monitoring Field Conditions

Drones can also provide accurate field mapping, including elevation information that allows growers to find any irregularities in the field and minimise the risk for pests and unsuitable plants for harvest.

Security Measures

Drone cameras are also used to protect farm animals by locating missing or injured herd animals in far-off grazing areas. What usually takes hours of walking to monitor remote areas can now be completed in a few minutes.

Drone Irrigation

Having access to key information like field elevation is useful in determining drainage patterns and wet or dry spots which allow for more efficient watering techniques while mitigating unwanted flooding on the fields.

The innovations for drone technology have grown leaps and bounds to provide a more efficient system on large-scale farming.

It revolutionized agriculture by offering farmers an avenue to provide major cost savings, innovations for enhanced efficiency, and more profitability. By quickly surveying vast stretches of farmland, drones can check on the property, report back on crop health on a larger scale, improve spraying accuracy, and monitor livestock and irrigation systems. Agricultural drone applications in agriculture range from mapping and surveying to crop dusting and spraying.

The ability to collect and analyse this data in real-time has tangible outcomes. The information gathered by agricultural drones on farms is often used to give farmers better and wider visibility of the status of the farmlands. This information is very important in order to make smart decisions such as better crop yield, fewer resources expended on weeds and herbicides, and overall improved farming management decisions.

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