Agriculture drones may soon be flying across America’s farmlands and changing the way data is analyzed, fertilizers and pesticides are spread and fields are scouted. Agriculture drones have the potential to change the way we farm. As federal regulations around UAVs loosen, innovations around the use of agriculture drones are hinting at improved crop yields, higher economic returns and better use of water, labor and less pollution.
Agriculture Drones to Help the Environment
One of the greatest benefits of agriculture drones comes from the ability to target the distribution of pesticides and fertilizers. In addition to saving on chemical costs, the use of drones in agriculture provide environmental benefits. High-resolution imaging will be able to help farmers analyze the need for common fertilizers, optimize their use and ultimately decrease the amount of chemicals entering local waterways.
Advanced Information Increases Crop Yields
With advancements in technology, agriculture drones can be used to help increase crop yields. A farmer operating an agriculture drone can fly over hundreds of acres of crops and view pictures or live video on an iPad. These drones allow farmers to visualize what parts of the field are insect-infested, diseased or deprived of water much faster than someone on foot. High-resolution imagery helps farmers view every inch of field soil and count every plant, which can often be missed or overlooked on foot.
Further advancements in technology will be able to look at visible and infrared radiation and help farmers calculate crop productivity. Imagine sending a drone into the air and being able to analyze data and optimize operations in order to create a higher-quality product. With continued advancements, we could soon be able to produce more food at a higher quality.
In addition to the potential to drive data from drones used in agriculture, they can also be used for spraying and treating crops. The Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International expects agriculture drones to make up 80 percent of the future commercial market, changing the way we farm in America.
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