Farmers deserve all the support they can receive when it comes to feeding the increasing world population. Farming has emerged significantly since the first Agricultural Revolution held 12,000 years ago, highlighting the shift from searching and gathering to planting and growing crops. During the 17th century, yet another significant advancement in productivity in transporting goods was Mechanisation. Further, in the 20th century, technology advanced through hybridization, herbicides, pesticides, and other progressive innovations. Now, farmers have switched to innovations such as drones, satellites, and specialized software for precision farming purposes.
What is Precision Agriculture?
In Precision Agriculture, modern farmers use advancements such as satellite images and field mapping to enhance or grow crop quality and productivity. Not only this, precision farming also helps in the optimization of traditional resources. Hence, precision farming in agriculture contributes to the development of sustainable agriculture. The only difference between traditional agriculture and precision agriculture is dividing the crop field into several parts instead of measuring it as a whole.
Importance of Precision Farming in Agriculture
Simply put, with the adoption of precision agriculture, farmers can easily control all the processes related to agriculture and cropping. Precision Agriculture improves the quality of crops and saves expenses in increasing production. Although in precision agriculture, the technologies might appear expensive initially, they result in much higher savings compared to traditional agricultural methods over time. Farmers can precisely estimate the necessary fertilizer quantity and identify suitable fertilizer types for specific areas. Additionally, the significance of precision farming technologies lies in enhancing the long-term planning of agricultural practices. Precision farming in agriculture is essential in solving the global hunger problem.
What are the Benefits of Precision Agriculture?
Precision agriculture benefits both growers and the environment. One can view the interconnection between the two, as declining adversely affects agricultural conditions. Some of the advantages of precision agriculture in farming include:
- Reducing material and resource costs such as water, seeds, fuel, etc.
- Preserving soil health by minimizing pesticide usage.
- Decreasing agriculture’s dependence on weather conditions.
- Achieving the maximum genetic potential of cultivated crops.
All About Precision Agriculture Technological Developments
During precision farming, special equipment, and other software upgrades are necessary to collect and analyse all the valuable information. Since precision agriculture technology uses hardware and software, experts are needed to execute them. Yet, in most cases, farmers can cope on their own. The precision farming technology can be selectively divided into land, aerial, and satellite. It is suitable for production planning, surveying, hunting, and controlling machinery. Modern farmers have turned to new technologies such as precision agriculture UAV (unmanned aerial vehicles) or precision agriculture drones to get the best out of every inch of cropland.
What is Agriculture UAV in Precision Farming?
UAV refers to ‘unmanned aerial vehicles’, also called ‘drones.’ In simple words, an agriculture drone is an agriculture UAV. These aerial technologies for producing crops are based on utilizing these agriculture UAVs. Therefore, growers can easily observe the field without manual support. Initially, farmers used crop dusters for traditional watering and sowing. But, a precision agriculture UAV or a precision agriculture drones have turned out to be a more progressive solution to crop dusters. Not only this, precision agriculture drones examine the entire crop field thoroughly.
Why Adopt Precision Agriculture UAV?
While unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) or drones were initially developed for military use, they are now considerably used across various industries. So, what benefits do drones bring to agriculture? In precision agriculture, drones help farmers tackle various challenges and gain multiple advantages. The world as we know it today is rapid and all the changes happen in almost a blink of an eye. We know adaptation is crucial, but change is the only constant. As the population grows and weather conditions change globally, farmers must utilize new-generation technologies to address emerging challenges.
How does Precision Farming Drones Work?
To better understand the usage of precision agriculture drones in farming, let us take a closer look at how drones work. Generally, drone construction includes sensory motors GPS, cameras, and controllers as well as a piece of equipment for automated flights. The technology used for precision agriculture UAV drones are made in a way that enables them to capture more accurate information than airplanes and satellites can collect. Likewise, in the farming sector, a drone or an agriculture UAV helps farmers as an introductory guide for farm management.
Best Drone Practices in Precision Farming
The use of drones for precision agriculture is rapidly increasing because they can deliver updated data quickly and reliably. Also, the easy availability of drones increases its demand overall. The best drone practices farmers undertake in precision farming are:
Monitoring soil Status
Smart farming is operational, which enables farmers to take action based on the health and status of soil. Earlier, visiting the fields physically daily and collecting data manually was the only way out. But, now, drones can collect and deliver this information as they come with agriculture smart sensors. Remarkably, they can do this in a more precise manner.
Broadcasting seeds and crops
What if we tell you that drones can now broadcast seeds ? A dream come true for all farmers, right? Yes, now drones can even shoot seeds in the soil and prepare them for further plantation processes. But, seed broadcasting through drones is an advanced approach and only few companies have experimented with these methods. Some innovative drone practices used for seed broadcasting also provide spraying water, adding fertilizers and pesticides with usage of other payload mechanisms.
Fighting infections and pests
Beyond broadcasting, drones can detect pesticides and inform farmers about soil health and overall status. This helps the farmers find the damaged cropland that might be inflicted by weeds, infections, and pests. Also, farmers can select the right amount of chemicals needed to fight infective parasites, further reducing financial costs and contributing to better field health.
As we know, agricultural fields occupy huge areas, and it is often nearly impossible to estimate the overall status of crops. But, with drones, farmers can now survey the agricultural harvest at large. Also, they can even stay updated regarding the health of soil and crops. To judge the state of crops, drones review the field with invisible cameras and multi-sensors.
Water is an essential part of farming and drones can be best used for spraying purposes in the farms, which prevent human contact with fertilizers, and other harmful chemicals. They are also a prominent alternative for fields that still use labor manually. No wonder drones are precious when it comes to cleaning up.
Benefits of Precision Agriculture Drones
An agricultural UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle) is known as a drone. They can fly above agricultural fields, capturing detailed images and videos to identify crop health, detect diseases and pests, and monitor water and nutrient levels. Here is how precision agriculture drones can benefit you:
Drones can cover huge areas of cropland in a short time, allowing farmers to quickly identify areas that call for attention, such as spraying pesticides and Insecticides on crops to control pests and other infections. With the help of drones, they can spray a 1-hectare portion of farmland in just 10 minutes. With precision farming drones, farmers can make wise decisions and take action to improve crop health and increase productivity accordingly.
Increased Crop Management
Drones are flexible in nature as they provide images and videos of the entire field in a detailed manner. They help gather the accurate position and health of crops and soil, allowing a proper plan implementation during the harvest season.
Early Detection of Pests and Infections
Pests, diseases, and other infections in farms are a significant problem, so drones can easily detect the initial spread of these pests and infections. Also, this can help farmers take preventive measures against widespread diseases and pests instantly, improving harvest and reducing the amount of pesticides.
Decreased Labor Cost
The utilization of drones can not only reduce labor costs but also help in time management. With quick and efficient observation of crop status, drones can overrule the manual spying method, thereby increasing safety.
Employing drones can reduce environmental impact at large. Drones can collect data from plants or field crops, and reveal the field health in the best way possible. It also decreases water consumption by conserving up to 90%. Also, they benefit the environment by minimizing the use of pests by 30%.
Precision agriculture drones have the potential to transform modern farming in several ways. Sustainable agriculture’s ultimate goal is to meet society’s current needs, primarily in food, without harming the environment. Precision agriculture is an incredible solution to sustainable farming. While the introduction of drone technology in rural areas is yet to come, efforts are undertaken to address these challenges and promote the use of drones in the agricultural sector. Now, that you know how essential agriculture drones are, feel free to employ IOTECH Drones. We are a drone company in India that aims to bring socioeconomic change to the farming sector by introducing advanced drones. Contact us today for further information.
Frequently Asked Questions
A: Precision Agriculture or precision farming refers to using advancements such as satellite images and field mapping to enhance or grow crop quality and productivity.
A: NIR stands for near-infrared spectrometry and is one of the tools used in precision farming to measure the health and overall crop status.
A: Precision agriculture has challenges and limitations as well, such as a high initial cost and supervision due to the hardware, software, and infrastructure required.