An agricultural drone is an unmanned aerial vehicle applied to farming in order to help increase crop production and monitor crop growth. Sensors and digital imaging capabilities can give farmers a richer picture of their fields. This information may prove useful in improving crop yields and farm efficiency.
Agricultural drones let farmers see their fields from the sky. This bird's-eye view can reveal many issues such as irrigation problems, soil variation, and pest and fungal infestations. Multispectral images show a near-infrared view as well as a visual spectrum view. The combination shows the farmer the differences between healthy and unhealthy plants, a difference not always clearly visible to the naked eye. Thus, these views can assist in assessing crop growth and production.
Additionally, the drone can survey the crops for the farmer periodically to their liking. Weekly, daily, or even hourly, pictures can show the changes in the crops over time, thus showing possible “trouble spots”. Having identified these trouble spots, the farmer can attempt to improve crop management and production.
Learning Tasks[edit | edit source]
- Explain how drones can be used for precision agriculture?
- Compare application of drones with cameras with remote sensing images from satellites!
- Consider Sustainable Development Goals and compare different task in agriculture according to the sustainabilty (e.g. Tractor, Drones, energy consumption, use of resources in general for performing the task)
- (Life Cycle Analysis) Analyze the concept of Life Cycle Analysis and perform a Life Cycle Analysis for drones in agriculture.
Legality[edit | edit source]
As drones entered use in agriculture, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) encouraged farmers to use this new technology to monitor their fields. However, with the unexpected boom of agricultural drones, the FAA quickly retracted such encouragement, pending new rules and regulations. With incidents such as drones crashing into crop dusters, it was vital for the FAA and the AFBF (American Farm Bureau Federation) to agree on regulations that would allow the beneficial use of such drones in a safe and efficient manner. Although the American Farm Bureau Federation would like small adjustments to some of the restrictions that have been implemented, they are happy that the agricultural industry can actually use this new machinery without the worry of facing any legal issues.
Security and ethics[edit | edit source]
Other companies might start flying their drones in unregulated areas to survey their competition and get to know the condition of crops and agricultural yield. Such a scenario could lead to compromising vital company secrets. People want to know that they are safe and protected, so the burden doesn’t just fall on the farmer, but on many of those around the farmer, too.
The use of agricultural drones has ethical and social implications. One benefit is that they are able to monitor and control the use of pesticides properly. This allows minimizing the environmental impact of pesticides. However, drones don't need access authority to flying overs someone's property at under 400 feet (130 m) altitude. They may have microphones and cameras attached, and the resulting concern for potential privacy violation has caused some opposition towards drones.
Future use[edit | edit source]
There is a lot of room for growth with agricultural drones. With technology constantly improving, imaging of the crops will need to improve as well. With the data that drones record from the crops the farmers are able to analyze their crops and make educated decisions on how to proceed given the accurate crop information. Software programs for analyzing and correcting crop production have the potential to grow in this market. Farmers will fly a drone over their crops, accurately identify an issue in a specific area, and take the necessary actions to correct the problem. This gives the farmer time to focus on the big picture of production instead of spending time surveying their crops.
See also[edit | edit source]
Wikipedia readings[edit | edit source]
- Aerial seeding
- Agricultural robot
- Environmental monitoring
- Mechanised agriculture
- Precision agriculture
References[edit | edit source]
- "Africa Farming Problems Aided With Drone Technology - Drone Addicts". Drone Addicts. 2018-03-12. Retrieved 2018-10-27.
- Reference page: Anderson, C. (2014, May). Agricultural drones. Technology Review, 117, 58-60. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/1534143322
- Bring in the drones: flying robots could be a valuable tool for crop surveillance.. (n.d.) The Free Library. (2014). Retrieved Sep 18 2016 from http://www.thefreelibrary.com/Bring+in+the+drones%3a+flying+robots+could+be+a+valuable+tool+for+crop...-a0423047794
- Farmers and Ranchers Will Soar with Agricultural Drones. (2015, April 28). Farm & Ranch Guide. Retrieved September 16, 2016, from http://www.farmandranchguide.com/news/crop/farmers-and-ranchers-will-soar-with-agricultural-drones/article_f75aa1ea-edc0-11e4-9e5b-2f201d97d1e1.html
- Global Market for agricultural drones is expected to reach $3.69 billion by 2022; Finds New Report. (2016, April 14). Retrieved September 10, 2016, from http://search.proquest.com/docview/1780742295
- Hetterick, H., & Reese, M. (2013, May 1). Ohio Ag Net | Ohio's Country Journal. Retrieved September 16, 2016, from http://ocj.com/2013/05/drones-can-be-positive-and-negative-for-the-ag-industry/
- Penhorwood, J. (2016, June 29). Ohio Ag Net | Ohio's Country Journal. Retrieved September 25, 2016, from http://ocj.com/2016/06/drones-in-agriculture-ready-for-takeoff-with-new-faa-rules/
- Worldwide Agricultural Drones Market Analysis and Forecasting Report. (2016, June 10). Retrieved September 10, 2016, from http://search.proquest.com/docview/1795453515
Wikipedia Categories[edit | edit source]
- Agricultural robotics
- Agricultural revolutions
- Agricultural technology
- Emerging technologies
- Unmanned aerial vehicles
Page Information[edit | edit source]
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