Most of the time we hear the word drones, we think of drone strikes. Drones tend to have a bad connotation, but there are several useful ways drones are starting to be used. One great example is that of drones in agriculture. Drones and agriculture are the perfect match to help improve how we cultivate and grow food nationwide.
For years now, advocates have said that drones will be the way to improve crop yields and improve profits for farmers. However, this has not been the case until recently. This is due to the Federal Aviation Administration’s section 333 exemption. This exemption allows companies to fly drones commercially (depending on the case). Finally, drones will be able to gather data with ease during growing seasons.
Before this exemption, companies that could not charge farms for their drone services and often worked with small, independent farms. Now with this exemption in place, these drone companies are making more money while helping our farms succeed. Some things aspects they are helping out with include better planting strategies, water management, and disease management. Overall, these companies are making farmers more efficient.
Due to the FAA exemption, we will probably see many more drone startups popping up in the near future. These companies can only be good for the agriculture industry. According to this report, the benefit from these drone programs will continue to grow through 2025. We will see more than 100,000 jobs created and $82 billion will be added to the economy in that time. Now this is for all drones, but the commercialization of drones will have the most impact.
Some drones can even help farmers spray pesticide or other resources like fertilizer where it is needed. Drones are going to improve the way we farm and will increase crop yields. This increase in yield may also help to solve some of the nation’s hunger problems. With more yields, the price of crops should go down making it more affordable for people to afford that crop leading to less hungry people in the country.
Here are some benefits of drones in agriculture
Time Saved: Drones are much faster than humans and they can perform the same tasks in less time. Farmers do not need to walk around as much to see how their crops are doing.
Increased Yields: They are able to find problems in crops faster than humans, with time saved, farmers can focus more on yields.
ROI: a $900-1,100 gross sale per acre increase has been seen in the past 10 years for many farmers using drones.
Crop Imaging: You can see many factors in image form such as how much sunlight a particular crop is receiving. Using live imaging, a farmer can see what exactly is working properly in the farm and what is not working. This includes seeing which plants are infected with a disease, insect problems, or which plants are low on water.
Ease of Use: Most drones are easy to set up and operate
These drones will continue to grow and an IoT or Bluetooth solution integrated into these products will make them even more powerful. All your crop data can be available for you to see online at anytime.