Drones are widely used across many farms now as an affordable way to take care of complex farm jobs. Whether it is saving a farmer considerable amounts of time searching for livestock or monitoring crops, there are many practical applications to using a drone on your farm
We take a look at 8 amazing possibilities that could make drone ownership even more financially viable for precision farmers.
Forget complex equations to estimate your yield, there is technology being developed that will enable drones to count each and every plant on your field. This will give specific numbers of plants per acre and allow farmers to better anticipate their financial return. All without the mind-boggling maths and guesswork. There is even talk about developers taking drone tech further than plant level analysis and identifying individual ears of corn for example. This technology is already being produced as we speak, and it is theoretically possible to do now given the implementation of the right software, the idea of further development in this area is to enable all crop drones to complete this function effectively.
Identify Weeds and Draw Up Weed Maps
Another function that is technically already possible given the use of the right drone and pairing it with the correct software. Again; the aim is to build a drone that can complete this task as one of many crop functions. Identifying weed plants from the sky, a drone can then communicate with unmanned weed picking bots to take care of the weed problem for you.
Identify Each Weed Type
Now we are getting really specific, though not possible just yet, developers are positive that they can program drones to identify each weed type. Of course, certain weeds are more stubborn than others and some require certain treatment to eradicate them, so identifying an individual weed type would allow the drone to isolate types and then treat the area accordingly.
Drones can already find stray livestock or isolate livestock movement to report this information back to farmers, but there is the potential for a drone to do much more when it comes to livestock. Some farms span many miles and some livestock is incredibly valuable at an individual level. This means Wagyu farmers, for example, would be able to identify a single cow that is ready for slaughter no matter where it is grazing at that time. Exactly how this would work is still being debated, but where there is a will there is a way.
Spray the Crops
There are already large drones that can spray crops en masse however these are expensive and not practical for medium to small farm environments. This has led to the development of smaller, more affordable and more precise drones that can spray as and when required.
Drone Delivery Systems
The tech giant Amazon has already experimented successfully with drone deliveries, meaning that drones can effectively and safely transport payloads from point A to point B. This has many practical implications on a farm where a payload could be moved without issue from one location to another. Transporting feed to livestock or fertiliser from storage to a field many miles away are al widely regarded as being possible. There has even been talk of delivering a farmer’s lunch to them from the farmhouse. Now that is something we would love to see!
Instead of setting up complex rigs to combine harvesters, there is a real possibility that a seeding drone could seed a field just as effectively. Not currently possible but one of the many functions that have had engineers scratching their heads and wondering if it is possible to equip a drone with an efficient seeding system.
Working with the Timber Industry
Drawing from the inspiration of individual crop identification, there is much to make of the possibility that a drone can identify individual tree species and also ascertain the optimum time for felling. Currently under development and being trialed this technology could make timber farmers lives a lot more straight forward especially when it comes to identifying the correct tree to fell in dense woodland.
There are many more ways drones are being developed, tried and tested and the number of functions proposed is actually quite staggering. As you can likely tell, drones already play an important role within the precision farming industry and it is one that is likely to become essential as the functionality improves with further technological developments.
Have you used drones for anything innovative on your farm? Perhaps you have experimented with one bringing you your lunch? Let us know your ideas in the comments section below!
(source: https://www.farmmanagement.pro/drones-are-the-future-here-is-how-they-could-be-used-on-your-farm/ )