For years, farmers have found ways to make their jobs easier while producing better crops. And the latest trend in agriculture? The use of drones.
Due to the rapidly growing population and concern about losing arable land, food security is a main issue among farmers around the world. Because of this concern, more farmers are getting innovative with their crop and livestock management methods. With more than 770,000 drones already being registered with the FAA, it’s no surprise they’ve found their way to the agricultural industry.
One way farmers have improved their methods is with the use of precision agriculture. This method uses GPS and drones and helps maximize farm yield. By using this process, farmers are able to better determine which crop is the best option for the current soil and geological conditions. Furthermore, this technology can help farmers take necessary precautions due to changes in the weather or fields.
The precision agriculture method has been around for years now but is continuously being changed to better suit agricultural needs. And with machinery manufacturing shipments accounting for 7.1% of manufacturing shipments in 2012, farmers have better access to machines and tools than ever.
Farmers are able to use drones to get a closer look at their crops through aerial imaging. This process can get more surveillance done in less time and even allow farmers to zoom in on individual plants when necessary.
Dr. Bobby Vick, solutions engineer at PrecisionHawk, Raleigh, N.C. explains, “We can fly certain crops at early stages of development and detect individual plants where they’ve emerged in the field and give growers and researchers an idea where their stand is at in the field.”
Over thousands of acres of farms, drones are able to quickly and efficiently gather data. This data can then be used to monitor pest damage and crop stress. Without having to survey the farm by foot, or hire people to help, drone technology is saving farmers both time and money in multiple ways.
Along with surveying crops, irrigation management is being revolutionized with the help of drones as well. By using thermal sensors attached to drones, the drone can detect is a plant is getting hotter and needs to be better irrigated.
While this technology can be extremely beneficial, it can be intimidating to farmers who aren’t used to using so much technology. But for those who are utilizing the assistance of drones, crop management has never been easier.
Along with agricultural benefits, drones are set to be used for a variety of purposes. One up and coming trend is using drones to deliver blood and medical supplies. With there being about 46.5 million surgical procedures performed each year in the U.S., the use of drones for medical deliveries could prove to be extremely beneficial.
Currently, the FAA is reviewing over 150 proposals for using drones to deliver blood and medical supplies to hospitals. They’re set to approve 10 projects this month.
Drones are revolutionizing a variety of processes in a variety of industries. So whether it’s to help ensure crops are growing properly or to deliver blood to hospitals, drones are certainly changing the way the world works.