How Can Drones Contribute to Modern Farming?


Farmers in this day and age are hungrier for data than they have ever been before.

In the past farmers haven’t had the opportunity to mine the data that they need to yield a successful crop. Now, with yield monitors tied together with GPS, farmers can tell the yield from each part of the field, and with seed counting sensors they can tell exactly if and when there is a problem with their air seeder or planter. A new concept th

at would take this data collection even further that has been gaining popularity in the agriculture industry in the past couple of years is the idea of using an UAV, (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle) or drone. Now most people when they think of a drone probably think of the drones that are used for military applications. But the benefits these “drones” bring to the Ag industry are enormous.

                These UAV’s use a combination of visual and near infrared imagery to provide the user with information such as visual inspection of crops, detection of plant stress brought on by drought, fungus or other types of diseases or insects before they are detectable by the human eye.

“Not only is the drone an incredible time saver, but it can save users money by detecting problems before it’s even visible.”

                The drones are fully autonomous once they are in the sky. And can be operated by a laptop, or tablet. The Trimble UX5 comes with its own tablet, and allows the user to input the flight path for the drone. The drone using GPS Technology follows the waypoints that the user inputs for the flight path. The drone flies its specified route and sends the data and imagery directly to the tablet software for review by the user.

                Besides saving users from driving every acre of their fields to gather similar data, which is an immense time saver, and giving them data that is not yet noticeable by the human eye, do you see any other advantages to using UAV’s on the farm? Any disadvantages? Let us know!