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Drones for Agriculture and Farming

04/03/2020

Studio Victoria

4 minutes

When we meet with local farmers they ask us the same question: how drones can be useful for agriculture and farming? In this article today we are going to take a look at different use cases for drones within the agriculture and farming industry, how they can make your processes more streamlined and help you to #ONEUPYOURBUSINESS.

REDUCE COSTS, MITIGATE RISKS AND MAXIMISE EFFICIENCY WITH REAL-TIME RESULTS, THERMAL AND MULTISPECTRAL INFORMATION

If you have hired manned airplanes or satellites in the past, you know that they are extremely expensive and take anything from days to weeks to schedule the operation with them. On top of that, in many cases their sensors are not using the latest available technology or lack adequate maintenance or calibration.

With drones you can get a high-resolution map in a matter of minutes at much lower cost exactly when you need it the most, like when you have an invasive species or a potential infection, which will help your business prevent catastrophic situations.

Our drones with thermal cameras and multispectral sensors can stream the information in real-time to a screen, all while analysing the results and identifying problematic areas. When the inspection is completed and the map is produced, you can then pinpoint the specific sections of your field that could require further inspection from the ground. This is a much more efficient process, saving you time, money and getting rid of the necessity of walking all around the field inspecting the crops.

COVER MORE GROUND WITH FIXED-WING DRONES

If you own several hundreds or even thousands of hectares, fixed-wing drones are perfect for the job. Our fleet of drones can cover up to 400 hectares per hour with a single battery charge and are capable using a high-resolution image camera with 0.7 centimetre per pixel resolution, a cutting-edge thermal camera that captures data at 30 Hz or the industry-leading multispectral sensor, gathering all the data that you required to make the most informed decisions about the condition of your farm.

DRONES ENSURE THAT YOU ARE DOING SOIL CARBON SEQUESTRATION RIGHT

Carbon sequestration is a crucial technique for organic farming that has several key benefits:

  • Better plant growth
  • Increase of soil organic matter
  • Better soil water retention
  • Reduction of fertiliser use

In order to analyse that you are effectively sequestering carbon, drones equipped with thermal cameras can measure the soil temperature and its variability. You want to have a temperature that is as homogenous as possible, with minimal variations between lowest and highest values.

As with other thermal survey, we prefer to do this type of inspection in the early morning or early evening, when the sun is low and does not affect the results.

With an initial inspection at the beginning of the carbon sequestration process and regular surveys afterwards, you will be able to keep track of the progress and adjust your methods to ensure success.

DETECT EVEN THE SMALLEST OF DEFECTS WITH UNRIVALLED RESOLUTION

For the utmost critical of inspections in high value crops, those in which you absolutely and positively need to see even the smallest of details to make sure that you do not potentially loose the crop to an outbreak, we can provide you with an unrivalled resolution of 1 millimetre per pixel, which will let you see you the dreaded black mold in a head of broccoli.

This high-accuracy visual inspection combined with the positioning data will let you cut down costs by fumigating only the specific sections that you need.

IMPROVE YOUR IRRIGATION SYSTEMS AND SPOT DRAINING ISSUES WITH DRONES

Once your crop’s growing season has ended and your harvest is over, a thermal survey with drones can give you valuable information to assess the effectiveness of your irrigation and draining systems by highlighting the areas that are wetter. With this data you can have a much more efficient and cost effective irrigation setup.

While your field is bare, the drone multispectral sensor will identify weeds and pests, so you can get rid of them very early on and your new crops will have the best chances to grow healthy and profitable.

INTEGRATION WITH AGREMO AND MACHINE LEARNING

Drone survey results for farming and agriculture can be integrated with Agremo, which is an application that produces reports about plant count, disease and weeds detection, ascertain flowering time and a lot more information.

Alongside this integration, our state-of-the-art software has Machine Learning which will give you a visual comparison of the recurring inspections of your field, being able to spot issues and discrepancies as soon as the results are processed and helping you to get ready for the next season.

GET HIGHER LOSS PERCENTAGE WITH MORE PRECISE DATA FROM DRONES

If unfortunately you have experienced a loss due to a major weather event, you know that insurance adjusters’ evaluations can vary greatly, usually giving you a lower loss percentage. When you are in this situation, drones can assess the damage very quickly and efficiently, giving the insurance adjusters much better data for them to evaluate your field more accurately and giving you usually a higher loss percentage.

ANIMAL COUNT AND LOCALISATION WITH DRONES

For herds that very large in numbers in remote or difficult-to-access locations drones are an ideal tool to ensure the accuracy of the animal count and localisation without risking the farmer’s safety and much more quickly, with the added bonus of permanent video evidence and exact GPS location.

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