In the agricultural sector, technological advancements and new machinery have changed how farmers work over the years, thereby compelling growers to adopt new farming techniques. These machines bring about positive changes and help farmers cope with the growing needs of the people concerned. Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) are modern aviation solutions to key farming issues. UAVs can perform tedious tasks with more efficiency and in less time than manual methods. Practices such as monitoring, mapping, sowing, and irrigation can be carried using drones. This sort of automation provides value to agricultural practices because it increases efficacy during seasonal planting cycles.
Crop Monitoring Using Drones
Traditionally, farmers relied on manual methods for collecting data about their crops. It was difficult for them to take the time to walk through every inch of their fields just to check things out. Now that technology has evolved, farmers can use UAVs to collect all information about what’s happening in different areas of their farms. Data collection occurs automatically, and the information produced is precise and easy for them to understand at a glance.
Timely data collection is crucial in farming as monitoring crop health allows growers to detect potential threats and helps eliminate them in time. It also helps in reducing overflow and unwanted pests in the farmland. Thus, using drones for crop monitoring is a brilliant way to maximize the quality and yield of the crops.
How Do Drones Reduce Farming Costs?
1) Health and Stress Analysis
Scanning crops using drones equipped with infrared lights and hyperspectral cameras allows growers to analyze the health of the crops. Heat maps provided after drone imagining helps in analyzing the stress and enable making counter plans in time. This helps in reducing crop damage, decreases wastage, and increases production.
2) Mapping or Surveying
Drone surveys are faster than manual surveys and save labor work. Drones with onboard sensors and cameras provide accurate data about farms and help in finding areas that need extra nourishment. Dry and arable land after proper care helps increase crop production, thus increasing the return on investment.
3) Irrigation Monitoring
Irrigation is a crucial step in crop production. Drones with thermal cameras help in detecting farm areas with low or too much moisture. This helps in irrigating land adequately and avoiding waterlogging, reducing wastage of water.
4) Crop Damage Assessment
Unmanned aerial vehicles used in crop monitoring can gather high-resolution data for measuring crop damage due to different factors like floods, pests, uneven nutrient distribution. This data is then used to minimize damage with timely treatment, ultimately increasing crop yields.
5) Field Analysis
Drones used in monitoring can be pivotal in the early stages of the crop cycle. Analyzing fields allows growers to identify important soil properties like pH, texture, salinity, and porosity. Identifying soil health discerns complications around soil quality, allowing better management of fields. Thus, field analysis is useful in planning seed planting patterns and irrigation patterns.
6) Crop Count and Plant Emergence
UAVs used in crop monitoring have high-resolution cameras coupled with infrared sensors that have high accuracy in maintaining crop count. Data accumulated is unambiguous and helps predict crop yield. Precise data of new plant emergence allows growers to find unwanted weeds and thus take timely precautions to avoid crop damage.
The aforementioned ways of using drones in crop monitoring help growers reduce crop failures, labor work, manual working hours, and increase crop yield. All this accounts for reducing farming costs and alternatively increases profitability.