Agricultural Drone: Overview of global trends

The use of the agricultural drone is becoming even wider and wider. There are more UAV units and functions that the flying farmer assistants can handle. Agricultural drones monitor, take pictures from a height, create 3D maps, plant seeds, apply mineral fertilizers and chemicals, control crops, help in irrigation, and control animals in agriculture. It is possible that in the near future agricultural drone will also carry out vaccinations.

Agricultural Drones in Australia DJI T16

This is the latest agricultural drone from DJI incorporating a number of cutting edge technologies, with an increased payload of 16 liters and increased output.  Through its software capabilities and AI engine, it can spray in a multitude of different situations along with the following three lines to enable pesticide application from above.

Can apply a range of pesticides (permitted by air only) to your crops in a timely manner reducing the need for heavy machinery and allowing access to fields when the ground is too wet for conventional spraying.

Our spreading capabilities include seeding, fertilizer, granular herbicides, beneficial insects.

Agricultural Drones in USA

In Pittsburgh, USA, Skycision is actively using drones and infrared technologies for both disease diagnosis and pest monitoring. The drone operator takes hundreds and thousands of infrared images and then creates a detailed map with photos.

Moreover, infrared sensors are even capable of detecting the amount of chlorophyll in plants. Disease marker: crops are affected – chlorophyll is reduced. You can also use the doctor of plant medicine program from Skycision, thanks to which you can diagnose the problem and get an “appointment” for the processing of crops.

In the United States, drones are widely used in precision farming, this is already a familiar industry. Although probably only a few have heard about the use of drones in the production of seafood: in California, oyster farms have seriously improved with the help of unmanned aerial vehicles.

UAVs help to collect the necessary information much easier than obtaining data from aircraft or echo sounders. High-quality images from drones have become an excellent tool for farmers.

Agricultural Drones in China

In China, drones are actively and efficiently involved in agriculture: entrepreneur Zhu Beibei spends about $ 45 thousand annually on his company, which employs as many as 30 operators of “summer”. The team is helping Chinese farmers to spray weeds, and labor shortages in rural areas are driving demand for such services. And a variety of drone work in order to increase yields in the PRC is in great demand.

Many Chinese farmers have reached old age and are forced to lease their land to companies. One of them, DJI, is based in Shenzhen and already controls about 70% of the global commercial drone market.

It markets its Agras MG-1 and Mavic 2 drones as industrial, and this segment accounts for more than half of the global drone market (total value: $ 9 billion).

An interesting trend highlighted by a spokesman for a manufacturing center in southern China Dongguan, Zhang Ying: Jobs such as a drone operator give more freedom, and Chinese millennials and post-millennials (and there are, it turns out) are ready to seek similar jobs.

Agricultural drones in Japan

In Japan, they decided to use drones more widely in agriculture. With ground robots, everything is fine there, including in aggro, but, apparently, even more, drones are needed. And the country’s Ministry of Agriculture has already unveiled a plan to promote the proliferation of drones in agriculture.

Thus, the agrarian department has set the task of introducing agricultural UAVs for more than half of the area planted with rice, wheat, and soybeans by 2022 financial year. This will help save labor and increase productivity. Drones must analyze and distribute chemicals and fertilizers. Now the main thing is to quickly and competently implement the initiative, since the problem of aging farmers, and at the same time, the lack of successors in the agro-industrial complex is acute.

Agricultural Israeli drones in Brazil

Israel Aerospace Industries has signed an agreement with Brazilian company Santos Lab to use Israeli drones in large-scale agriculture.

Given that IAI has over 40 years of experience with UAVs, Brazil will only benefit from this. The Bird Eye 650D drone will be used to monitor crops and soil conditions.

All data will go to the cloud service, where the information is analyzed. The project will be activated at the end of 2019.

Agricultural Drones in India

In the Indian state of Maharashtra, unmanned aerial vehicles have begun to be actively used to modernize agriculture. Since the end of last year, Indians have been studying and practicing drone-assisted mapping and irrigation.

The wide-spectrum, high-resolution images that farmers receive from UAVs equipped with artificial intelligence and machine learning capabilities make it easy to work because even a non-specialist can now have a clear idea of ​​plant health.

Also in India, flying laboratories are being developed as part of WeRobotics, which greatly simplifies the life of local farmers.

Farmers learn to predict crops, take timely action at an early stage in the spread of disease, remotely probe, calculate accurate site sizes, classify crop types, map, plan to harvest, or pest control.

Professional drones are expensive in India: costs can be around $ 2-15 thousand.

Agricultural Drones in Ghana

Drone technology will be adopted in Ghana’s agricultural sector. This is expected to help farmers and make their lives easier. There, even now, some farmers have become more “advanced”: they use Amdrone Tech for sowing diagnostics and precise spraying (volume 15 and 25 liters).

These drones can spray two hectares in 30 minutes. The accuracy of drones in Ghana is estimated by experts at 99%.

Rob Prosser