The Agriculture Drone and UAS Technology

By Hal Simmons •  Updated: 03/03/21 •  6 min read

All agriculture drones can have GPS navigation, a digital camera, a video recorder, and sensors to measure air pressure, temperature, humidity, and light levels. In agriculture, drones are regarded as unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) and can be used for multiple purposes. The UAS technology has been improving over the years, enabling several drone models to be introduced that precisely fit agricultural purposes.

The main advantages drones present over human observation include the ability to cover large areas and the convenience. Drones can fly more efficiently and with less cost and can be programmed to survey large areas repeatedly, daily, or at any other chosen interval. Agriculture Drones can be a valuable asset to a farmer.

The FAA has approved more than 1,400 requests from farmers and businesses to fly drones for agricultural purposes. Some drones can lift heavy payloads such as these drones.

Aerial views can efficiently distribute their payloads of water, and the agricultural supply trucks and environmental workers can identify locations needing improvements. These services can aid in increasing crop yield. They prevent loss due to either excess moisture or a lack thereof and crop growth and maintenance.

Drones are used for detecting early signs of drought or floods in the field. The information obtained from pictures/videos taken with drones can be analyzed and utilized for planning water, harvesting, or anti-flooding operations. Drones can find problems with the irrigation systems within fields. Farmers can use all of this information to plan repairs or replace such systems to enhance their functionality.

Drones are equipped with cameras and provide pictures or videos of the crop, which farmers can analyze and evaluate.

Some images/videos of crops can be used for advanced analysis and promotion, while others may solely be intended for study. These images/videos help farmers improve their crop yield, achieve better development levels, and increase profitability.

It has been reported in the worldwide market for agricultural UAS is projected to grow at a CAGR of 21.1%. The projection is between 2015 and 2020. During this time, it will attain a valuation of US $12.9 billion.

Agriculture drones are dependent on several factors, including environmental conditions like rainfall, sunlight, and temperature. These factors can severely affect the growth and development of crops. These requirements may change due to farmers’ agricultural practices, and thus, drones are extensively used to analyze such parameters.

Drones have been useful for monitoring large fields of crops. Drones can provide pictures/videos from a bird’s eye view, helping farmers determine whether their crops are growing as per their expectations. This information can be used effectively to create strategies and for crop planning to improve crop yield and development levels.

Drones can be used to monitor the field for weeds and other problems. These images/videos can be analyzed and compared with earlier images. Farmers can decide on crop spraying or any other appropriate method of eliminating such issues.

Drones are also helpful for crop spraying operations. These devices can be used to monitor crop spraying operations and ensure that the entire field is being evenly sprayed without any overlaps or gaps. This information can be utilized for creating strategies to improve the efficiency of crop spraying.

Drones are used for crop protection to identify the level of infestation by pests and parasites. Farmers also analyze the images and videos from drones to be sure the insect infestation is being reduced. The photos determine if any crop is having a problem. They also help the farmer look for additional threats from other pests or parasites. This information can be utilized for crop treatment applications such as spraying a pesticide or an insecticide.

Additionally, drones have been used to measure the amount of nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium present in soils of crops to assess nutrient levels. These images are utilized for creating strategies for the application of fertilizers or other fertilizing substances.

Drones can also be used to deliver fertilizers and pesticides efficiently. Fertilizing or applying pesticides can be done by placing these substances in the drone and then applying them to the field from a height, reducing the number of pollutants being released.

The images obtained from the agriculture drone are used to identify the location of fields with low crop growth to ensure that such areas are given priority during crop harvesting.

The videos taken from the drone using cameras can be used to determine the crop’s ripeness, which can then be utilized to plan the harvesting operations. Or predict when it’s appropriate to start applying fertilizers and pesticides.

Drones are also helpful in measuring temperatures at various parts of the field. Farmers use this temperature measurement information to decide on the proper time for sowing or irrigation purposes.

Drones can also be utilized to determine yields since they can calculate areas in square meters by detecting lines formed by crops.

Drones may also be used for spotting predators that are attacking livestock within the farm. Drones have identified animals and birds that have been known to attack and eat livestock within the field. In such cases, drones can be used to detect such instances of the predators and monitor the activity. The exact location can help the game wardens to take the needed measures to reduce the predator population.

Many farmers often plant their crops in remote areas. In such cases, it is difficult for farmers to check their crops’ progress regularly. Drones that can carry out aerial imaging help these farmers monitor potential problems, crop growth, and pollution levels. These images can also detect various facilities within the premises, allowing proper planning for future development needs.

Conclusion about Agriculture Drone
Most drones used for agricultural purposes are equipped with cameras for obtaining images/videos of crop growth and maintenance. These images/videos help farmers improve their crop yield, achieve better development levels, and increase profitability.

In the United States, many farmers are purchasing or leasing drones to survey farms for crop damage. USDA has reported that a growing number of farmers have begun using drones to remedy problems due to a lack of resources.

The UAS technology has been improving over the years, which enabled several drone models to be introduced that specifically fit agricultural purposes.

Hal Simmons

When I first started flying drones I was always afraid of damaging my drone. I would always be thinking what if. I questioned myself often and as a result it made me question various aspects of flying drones. In the process I learned a lot. This is why I feel I have a lot of information that will be helpful to beginners and intermediate drone enthusiasts. Of course I still have a lot to learn so join me on this journey and I am sure you will enjoy the adventure ahead of us.