Drones for Agriculture
Drone applications in agriculture range from mapping and surveying to crop-dusting and spraying.
UAVs are becoming indispensable in Agriculture because of it cuts costs of production and provides farmers the power to analyze and generate powerful data and reports overtime. Drones help in Planting, Pesticides/Fertilizer Application, Elevation analysis for water flow and erosion, informed decision for precision agriculture, crop count and yield calculator etc.
UAVs in Agriculture
- LiDAR Applications
“Spectral imaging is the detection of light reflected by the crop with the use of specialized sensors. It is measured in spectral bands. The higher the number of bands the higher the accuracy, the flexibility and information content. Spectral imaging is widely used now in agriculture and precision farming” Ivanov Igor
The data captured by drone-based multispectral sensors can make operations more efficient by providing information that allows for better use of resources and more localized applications.
Integration of RGB-based vegetation index, crop surface model and object-based image analysis approach for crop monitoring and yield calculation using unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs)
Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) takes the insights of an RGB map one step further. The map shows the amount of infrared light reflected in an area, which is an indicator of malnourishment and drought
Multispectral data from drones
In supporting precision farming, drones can do soil health scans, monitor crop health, assist in planning irrigation schedules, apply fertilizers, estimate yield data and provide valuable data for weather analysis.
Monitoring Filed Condition
- Scouting/Monitoring Plant Health
One of the revolutions on Drone Technology in Agriculture is the use of drone imagery for monitoring plant health. Drones equipped with special imaging equipment called Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) use detailed colour information to indicate plant health. This allows farmers to monitor crops as they grow so any problems can be dealt with fast enough to save the plants.
- Monitoring Field Conditions
Drones can provide accurate field mapping including elevation information that allow growers to find any irregularities in the field. Having information on field elevation is useful in determining drainage patterns and wet/dry spots which allow for more efficient watering techniques.
- Crop Spraying
Larger drones are already capable of applying small quantities of pesticide or fertilizer to crops, orchards and forested areas. Drones sprayers delivery very fine spray applications that can be targeted to specific areas to maximize efficiency and save on chemical costs
- Computer Vision, and AI
When integrated into drones, computer vision technology can provide all kinds of essential data that can help farmers optimize irrigation and plan the best time for harvest. In particular, it can dramatically enhance the aerial images taken by drones to compute highly accurate information that would be impossible to glean just from images (or the naked eye), which agriculturists can use to make the best farming decisions. Today, several companies are offering this kind of technology to be used with drones.