Innovation Insights - Articles and Reports

Will Drone-Use Become the Future of Farming

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Publication date: 28/04/2020
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The development of drones is providing farmers with innovative technological features and capacities to maximise optimum results in agriculture. Using drone technology enables farmers to cover expansive ground compared to manual application (approximately thirty to fifty acres), thus reducing time and cost in this process. Using soil analysis techniques, drones also provide the ability to sense suitable terrain conditions for optimum results, whilst also presenting capacity to plant seeds combined with nourishing substances which encourage seed growth. According to data produced by MIT Technology Review, the utilisation of drones for plantation purposes has increased uptake rates of seeds by 75%, whilst significantly reducing the financial processing cost (-85%).

Crop maintenance may also be aided, with drone-based monitoring systems identifying potential crops which are not flourishing. Software developed by tech-companies like AgHawk, enable flight paths to be programmed into devices, which can track changes over time. The data produced during flights is digitally linked and uploaded, providing efficient recording and tracking of agriculture. Responsive methods may then be implemented to target depletions in a timely manner.

Using drones to monitor the health and position of livestock may also be actioned, however drones do pose a potential risk of distressing animals, highlighting caution in this area of application. Recording and monitoring crop and livestock means problems can be documented, thus providing corroborate evidence in the event of having to claim insurance. As such, drones can offer a two-pronged
approach to aid farmers by acting as an initial protective and defensive mechanism to respond to problems, and supporting reparations in the aftermath of an unmanageable problems.

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