In recent news, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has for the first time allowed the usage of Drones for agriculture practices. Some of the on-field use case for drones are :
Crop Scouting (Health Monitoring): The ability to inspect mid-season crops with Normalized Difference Vegetative Index (NDVI) or near-infrared sensors (NIR) is one of the path-breaking applications of drones in agriculture. Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) or drones have helped the precision farming industry by integrating infra red technology in them. The combination of these two technologies enables the farmers to keep an eye on the entire farm without physically being there and assess his options. UAV’s are also capable to use these infrared cameras to provide an array of information such as: presence of different species in their fields, moisture levels of the soil or grains, plant development stages, plant health, etc.
The companies that provide drones for precision agriculture techniques include Trimble Navigation, Precision Drone LLC, and SenseFly among others.
Variable rate application (VRA) : It refers to the technologies that facilitate the farmer to vary the rate of crop inputs based on the position dynamics or the precise location. Variable rate technology (VRT) puts together a variable-rate (VR) control system with application components to focus inputs at the correct time and/or location to achieve position-specific application rates of inputs. The two primary methods of VRA are Map-based and Sensor-based methods. By using drones generated VRA maps, the framers are able to identify nutrient (fertilizers) requirement in a more scientific manner. Based on the inputs from the map the nutrients can be applied to identify areas such as struggling areas (high nutrient requirement), medium areas (average nutrient requirement) and healthy areas (low nutrient requirement).
Weed and yield monitoring: Drones has made it possible to make better use of NDVI sensor data and marry it with post-flight image processing to create a weed map that can be used by growers and agronomist can now easily identify areas of high-intensity weed proliferation and take timely action. Usually, growers couldn’t realize the damage done by weed until harvest time. with advent of drone, weed identification and management could increase the health of the output substantially.
BIS Research has published a comprehensive market intelligence report on precision agriculture and is undertaking a detailed study on drones market. To request more detail on the report please contact us