Precision farming technology has been at the forefront of the farming revolution and in recent years, unmanned aerial vehicles or drones have become increasingly popular among precision farmers. Precision farming drones are a useful tool for identifying issues with crops before the problems become severe and may increase crop yields by 10%.
A brief history
The U.S. military and CIA have been flying unmanned drones since 2002 as a form of surveillance and to distribute weaponry during war. Currently, civilians can use drones within certain airspace restrictions and licensing requirements, however, the Federal Aviation Administration is working on establishing guidelines for commercial use.
Drone use is on the rise
The Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International predicts that 80% of the commercial market for drones will eventually be for agricultural uses. Currently, manned planes and walking the field are the main ways that farmers monitor their crops, but with precision farming drones, the possibilities are endless.
How drones fit into the precision farming cycle
Analyze – Once the drone has gathered all the data, you can analyze vegetation indices, plant statistics, soil moisture, and topography utilizing software programs that either come with or are compatible with your particular drone.
Plan – Next, you’ll want to compile the survey data to match observations, which allows you accurately plan the next steps. These steps include:
- Chemical treatment or fertilizer
- Design and install drainage systems
- Modify chemical treatment strategies
- Make necessary repairs
- Replace problematic machinery.
Execute – Now you can carry out a well-planned course of action that’s both economical and risk-free.
Although drones are a relatively new technology, their usage and popularity has exploded over the past decade and proves to be an increasingly successful tool in the farming industry.
About Precision Ag Services
Precision Ag Services combines more than 30 years of agronomic experience with the latest GPS technologies to provide farmers in Ohio and Michigan with seeding prescriptions. Precision Ag Services is also an authorized distributor of Ag Leader products.
To learn more about our services and products, contact our team!