How Will Drones Impact Agriculture in the Future? 

Drone startups are developing autonomous machines, utilizing cutting-edge technologies to help farmers become more sustainable and enhance their production in order to present a genuine alternative to intensive agriculture (a model inherited from the 1960s with devastating environmental repercussions). 

By innovative forces creating both UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle) goods and services and industry leaders discovering new ways to influence their businesses by using technology, there is a strong mix of leadership in the aerospace and military sectors. 

Modern Agriculture’s integration of smart technology 

Agriculture techniques have included an increasing variety of technology to boost crop output and lower operating costs in order to meet the increasing food demands of a growing human population. This development has prompted the use of so-called “smart technologies,” such as automated machinery and artificial intelligence, in many aspects of food production, from crop planting and animal protection to food processing and transportation. 

With the advancement of open-source technologies, intelligent sensors, and longer flight lengths, modern drones can now perform a variety of tasks in agriculture, from crop protection to monitoring and observation. 

The numerous uses of drone technology in agriculture 

Puri et al. discussed the commercial agricultural uses of drones now being used around the world in their 2017 survey of scholarly literature. The authors provide instances from Germany, where the regular use of drones for tasks like mowing meadows, calculating yield losses due to wild boar damage, and distributing beneficial insects throughout crops to serve as bio remediators are examples. 

The study explains how drones are especially beneficial for enhancing precision agricultural techniques, which have gained popularity in recent years. Utilizing both ground-based and satellite-based applications, smart or precision farming enables site-specific image processing to catalog agricultural regions. This method not only broadens the range of spatiotemporal scales that are accessible and is compatible with drone technology, but it also offers a certain level of autonomy without the necessity for intrusive sampling. 

Drones may stitch thermographic photos together over time to detect the direction of water flow across the land and to spot land features that might have an impact on water dispersion. Drones’ accuracy and speed also make it possible to spray insecticides from the drones themselves to get rid of pests and pathogens and deliver fertilizer where crops aren’t growing well enough. 

What has COP26 taught us about sustainable agriculture? 

A third major advantage of drones is that they can function as mechanical pollinators. Although insect vectors continue to be the most significant pollinators, drones may someday become extremely essential, especially with the loss of bees. Drones may be able to efficiently transport and disseminate pollen seeds in orchards or fields, but more research is needed in this area. 

In recent years, various drone types that can perform all these duties have been developed, and the costs of these models are steadily falling. For instance, the business DJI was the first to use drone technology in agriculture in 2012, and it now provides drone technology to over 30 nations and 10 million agricultural professionals worldwide. 

The T20 plant protection drone, created lately by DJI models, can perform control operations on a variety of crop varieties. The business also created the sow system 2.0, which uses specially created maps to enable drones to do seeding operations across entire fields or in certain locations. As a result, drones and the technology that supports them are getting better and gradually incorporating more uses. 

Contact us on www.droneagdata.com to learn more about the challenges associated with using drones and other agricultural technologies. 


DJI Agriculture. (2021, November). DJI Agriculture. https://ag.dji.com/ 

Drone Ag – Hassle-free drone automation and AI for Agriculture. (2021, November). Drone AG. https://droneag.farm/ 

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