While drones have been around for many years now, the military has been using drones since around 2000, so about 18 years. But only in recent years have drones come into the mainstream and most recently into the ag sector. Below we have listed some exciting new ways that drones can help farmers, whether the farmer is flying it themselves or hiring it out.
(pic via AgriTech Tomorrow)
2. Checking Cattle. With a drone, farmers and ranchers can easily check up on livestock without needing to be right next to them. Most standard drones will have a range of up to 3 miles, with more heavy duty ones having the ability to fly further than that. This can save time and resources by simply flying over to check on livestock.
3. Planting, Spraying. New technology has even come as far as being able to spray and fertilize fields with drones. “planting: Startups have created drone-planting systems that achieve an uptake rate of 75 percent and decrease planting costs by 85 percent. These systems shoot pods with seeds and plant nutrients into the soil, providing the plant all the nutrients necessary to sustain life. Crop spraying: Distance-measuring equipment—ultrasonic echoing and lasers such as those used in the light-detection and ranging, or LiDAR, method—enables a drone to adjust altitude as the topography and geography vary, and thus avoid collisions. Consequently, drones can scan the ground and spray the correct amount of liquid, modulating distance from the ground and spraying in real time for even coverage. The result: increased efficiency with a reduction of in the amount of chemicals penetrating into groundwater. In fact, experts estimate that aerial spraying can be completed up to five times faster with drones than with traditional machinery.” (Mazur, 2016).
4. Machine sales and Demos. Drones are a great way for agriculture machinery dealerships, professionals who have patented ag products and manufacturers to show people how their machine really works. Online video viewership is the largest consumed form of content currently according to Search Engine Journal: “Right now, Facebook users are spending 3x as much time watching live videos than traditional videos. As if that weren’t enough, video content is projected to represent 74 percent of all web traffic by the end of this year, and more than 80 percent of all web traffic by 2020. What’s more, 4x as many consumers would rather watch a video about a product than read a post about it.” (McCoy, 2017).
A frequently asked question we get is do you need a drone license? Heres the answer: if you are a farmer flying a drone on your own farm for pleasure, no you don’t need a license. If you are going to shoot video for business, apply chemical or plant, then yes you need a drone license or you need to hire an individual or company who has a drone license to do this task for you.
McCoy, Julia. May 8, 2017. “ 7 types of content that gain the most engagement and likes.” Search Engine Journal. https://www.searchenginejournal.com/best-content-types/194679/
Calderone, Len. December 28, 2017. “How do drones help farmers?” AgriTech Tomorrow.
Mazur, Michal. July 20, 2016. “Six Ways Drones are Revolutionizing Agriculture.” MIT Technology Review.