Drones might have seemed like science fiction only a decade ago but already the small flying devices have made huge inroads into all aspects of society none more so than farming where the benefits have been huge.
Drones can be bought for as little as a few hundred euro now and when fitted with camera enable us to see so much more of our farm and analyse in new ways how we are farming. PwC (a drone solutions company) estimates the market for drone-powered solutions in agriculture at $32.4 billion.
Here are some of the many ways drones have benefited farming:
Drones are so useful at the start of crop cycles from grass to tillage crops. They can provide data for irrigation and nitrogen management.
Drone technology has now advanced to allow them to scan topography and geography features. Drones can thus scan the ground and spray the correct amount of liquid in real time. This increased efficiency saves money and prevents harmful runoff into water tables.
An obvious one because we have already come to rely on drones for it. But the benefits of Drone crop monitoring are many. It can tell us in real time whatareas of ground are not doing well and for large scale farming in the US has also reduced costs as satellite images are no longer needed.
Drones again can be used in irrigation practices to see where water use is being most effectively used and where it is not.
Drones have allowed us to keep an eye on our farms and lands when we are not there. A quick flight in the drone can detect if any unwanted intruders are on your land.
For hill farmers and farmers in remote areas Drones can now be used to find and detect missing animals such as sheep on commonage. Thus saving time and dog power out in the fields.
Drones can reach areas that people cannot. And with recent floods a major problem in a changing environment drones can allow us to access inaccessible lands and flood plains to asses the extent of damage caused.