The damage that climate change is causing, many times irreversible, is forcing us to work tirelessly in the continuous improvement of the technology applied to the agricultural industry. That's when RPAS comes into play. And not only in agriculture, the list of jobs with drones in different sectors is overwhelming.
Thanks to the use of drones in agriculture, agricultural companies can meet increasingly changing and demanding demand, which forces farmers to make complex decisions on which the success of their crops depends. And it is that small unmanned aircraft are assuming an important advance in precision agriculture.
Today we want to talk to you about drones in agriculture; We will see the large number of uses and advantages that this effective combination of drones and agriculture offers us.
WHY ARE DRONES NECESSARY IN AGRICULTURE?
One of the increasingly complicated challenges facing agricultural industries is making the right decisions that optimize the performance of the fields. Guesswork and opinions based on intuition, on how to manage crops to obtain the best yield, are becoming increasingly remote.
The advancement of technology and the incorporation of drones in agriculture is achieving a notable improvement in what is known as precision agriculture.
Thanks to the data collection provided by drones, today it is possible to maximize the performance of the fields, in addition to managing agricultural holdings in a much more efficient way, also controlling the environmental impact.
According to a study carried out by the Goldman Sachs Group, in the next five years, the agricultural sector will be the second to implement RPAS, using them primarily as drones for crop management.
Do you know everything RPAS can do in agriculture? You are probably considering drone spraying; yes, this is one of the many uses in which a drone helps a lot in the agricultural sector. But there is much beyond that.
Let's see what drones can do for the field.
7 USES OF DRONES IN AGRICULTURE
In addition to the great help that the use of drones supposes during the evolution of crops, thanks to all the information they provide, having these small unmanned aircraft contributes to a reduction in production costs.
And it is that the drones do a tracking throughout the agricultural extension in minutes, thus avoiding the expense of time and fuel that, until now, the farmer had to assume in the achievement of routine tasks.
With this good news, let's see what drones can do in the fields.
The agricultural drones are equipped with cameras with powerful sensors able to gather useful data on the conditions of the soil, their quality and the nitrogen deficiency or even dead zones of the floor itself.
Data collection is possible thanks to thermography, multispectral and hyperspectral technology.
This information helps the farmer to implement planting and crop management programs much more efficiently.
It is not a very widespread use of drones in agriculture, but more and more farms are betting on this way of sowing the fields.
The only thing the farmer has to do is prepare the land; Afterward, the drone pilot will direct the drone by firing seed pods on the ground.
It should be noted that this use of drones in agriculture represents an important saving of the costs that have traditionally accompanied the process of sowing seeds, especially the time used in addition to manual work.
Disease and weed control
With a technology similar to that used to analyze the soil, drones are able to detect with great precision the diseases suffered by herbaceous crops, in addition to finding weeds that can be the cause of these problems.
The information collected by the drone is analyzed by the software, selecting the damaged crops on which to apply high-precision control measures.
And in tree plantations, in addition to identifying damaged specimens, the drone can tag them with the disease they suffer.
One of the advantages of the drones that do this work is that they can detect and diagnose infection problems in time, before they spread and become a generalized complication of the entire plantation.
Fumigation of fields
The aerial spraying of drones is one of the most used by many agricultural industries uses. And it is that crops, to maintain optimal performance, need fumigation, either with pesticides or fertilizers.
Until now, it was something that was done either manually or with the help of airplanes. Either of these two solutions are much more expensive for the farmer, who cannot lose sight of the optimization of his production costs.
The main advantage of spraying crops with drones, in addition to saving time, is the optimization of the products applied. And it is that the RPAS spray the optimal amount in a constant way, and without overlapping plots; something very difficult to achieve with traditional fumigation.
The drones can be equipped with tanks of fertilizers, phytosanitary, herbicides or pesticides to spray the fields. In addition, the drone operator can schedule flights both at specific times and by marking specific routes.
Surveillance and monitoring of crops
Until recently, the surveillance and monitoring of crops was solved by taking panoramic photos of the entire agricultural area.
With the arrival of drones, the information is much more detailed, in addition to making it easier and cheaper to keep an eye on all fields.
Thanks to the near infrared sensors that the drone has incorporated, the farmer can know the health of each plant in his crops based on the absorption of light.
This sophisticated system not only provides information on general cultivation and plant health; it also provides the distribution of the land according to the type of crop and even the current life cycle of the crop itself.
And with regard to better control and monitoring of the entire agricultural area, the drone software provides detailed GPS maps with the entire current growing area.
Irrigation water management
Large farms always tend to have problems with water distribution during irrigation. Thanks to the thermal cameras incorporated into agricultural drones, they can detect areas that receive little or no humidity.
In times of water stress, plants close their stomata; This produces an increase in temperature that is captured by the images from the drone's thermal camera.
These inspections can save entire crops by being able to design a better irrigation distribution, in order to maximize drainage while avoiding water accumulation, among other corrections that the farmer can implement.
The use of drones to pollinate plants has not yet reached our country, but we want to tell you about it because of how interesting it is.
Faced with the threat of invasive pests, with the consequent disappearance of a large number of bees throughout the planet, Japanese researchers decided to develop a pollination system with drones. And they have succeeded.
These are small drones barely 4 centimeters wide and weighing 15 grams, which are capable of pollinating the flowers without damaging the plant.
As you can see, the uses of drones in agriculture have no limits.