Drones are assisting farming and agriculture more and more today. They are primarily help grow crops such as maize, rice and sweet potatoes.
This new techniques is called ‘smart farming’ and farmers are very excited about it.
Technology Review have explained a couple ways in which drones are helping farmers.
1. Soil and Field Analysis
This is particularly helpful at the start of the crop cycle. the drones analyse the soil and produce 3D maps. This is incredibly useful for farmers to assess best places to plant seeds that year.
Once planted, and during germination, the drones record the Nitrogen levels. This helps the farmers give then crops the best possible growth management.
This new drone technique reduces the planting cost methods by 85%. This is clearly a very impressive statistic for farmers. No more of those traditional planting methods, drones have it sorted.
The drones do it by dropping the seeds and nutrients into the soil from above. These seeds will then germinate quickly and with all the exact nutrients they need for optimum growth.
3. Crop Spraying
The drones can also scan the ground and can check the dryness of the soil. They then can provide the correct amount of of water to spray. This offers an even coverage of plant hydration.
This technique is five times faster than traditional watering methods.
4. Crop Monitoring
The monitoring the use of pesticides is super beneficial to the small ecosystems surrounding the farm.
One of the biggest challenges for a farmer and his crops is when a plant goes into stress. A photosynthetic activity takes place which effects the chlorophyll in the plant and the crops fail to thrive. This can happen from wither a lack of water or fertiliser. This issue can be detected 10 days faster than your usual ‘farmers eye’ . –The Guardian.
Some parts of soil in fields can naturally become too dry, or even too saturated in water. This issue can be detected quickly with hyperspectral, multispectral and/or thermal sensors that are onboard the drones.
6. Health Assessment
Drones use this near infrared light to also detect signs of bacterial or fungal infections. The drones can monitor this as plants reflect green or NIR light. This creates images for the assessment of the health of the crop and farmers can spot for any issues. This method is considerably faster than if a farmer had to do it and search for diseases within the crops.
Other interesting points about why people are beginning love drones:
- The government for farming. It gives them faster and more accurate readings of what’s being grown and where. This leads to less food wastage and can assess what crops are more in demand.
- The population Earth by 2050 is going to be a lot greater, meaning we are going to need a lot more food. ‘Smart-farming‘ is going to be the answer to this.