Conventionally, Unmanned Aerial vehicles (UAVs) have been used for remote sensing and surveillance by the military, though off late they are increasingly finding applications in the field of agriculture as well. Drones are being used to collect on-field data for varied purpose such as identifying potential yield limiting factors, insects affecting the crop and issues related to irrigation, thereby saving the farmer a lot of time and effort.
The amount of data that can be collected by these drones is staggering. Proper identification, collection and analysis of the data is an important cog in the wheel of precision agriculture research and development. This is an enormous challenge. A system in place should allow the farmers to be able to securely share data, with right to ownership and intellectual property. This would enable farmers to seek advice and learn from data shared by other farmers. The Open Ag Data Alliance (OADA) is one such initiative which caters to the requirements of farmers who wish to better utilize the data collected from their fields. Their cloud services and tools provide the necessary hardware and software to interoperate and improve decision making.
The OADA came into existence to serve as an all encompassing consortium that would provide farmers and other third party clients to strive for innovative and sustainable agriculture practices. It is similar in approach to the internet such that it has developed open standard software to facilitate data collection and storage. A farmer may share data collected from his field and get connected to people who specialize in preparing reports and plans for various farming practices.
Dealing with such huge amount of convoluted data can be an overwhelming experience and the OADA deserves appreciation in its efforts to assist the farmer. The initiative not only drives the world towards sustainable development but also paints a brighter picture for technological innovations in the field of agriculture. Initiatives such as this would certainly go a long way in further boosting the prospect of precision agriculture says the analyst from BIS Research. As per the recent research study on global precision farming market, the market potential for technologies and system is of the order of billions and is expected to account for over $6 billion by 2022.