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Importance and uses of Drone Technology in Indian Agriculture

Posted On : January 28, 2021

WHY ADOPT AGRICULTURAL DRONES?

Drone technology has gotten most of the popularity within the industry due to its diversity and thought of the longer term for the agrarian community. The military initially used them. And other sectors are fastly embraced unmanned aerial vehicles once they studied their widespread applications.

How can drones support Indian agriculture?

Drones don't merely enhance overall performance but also encourage farmers to unravel other assorted barriers and receive many benefits through precision agriculture. With the marketplace for agricultural drones reaching a whopping $1.3 billion, UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles) fill the gap of human error and inefficiency by traditional farming methods. the aim of adopting drone technology is to exclude any guesswork or ambiguity and instead specialize in accurate and reliable information.

Key factors like soil conditions, temperature, and weather play an important role in farming. Agriculture drone empowers the farmer to adapt to specific environments and make mindful choices accordingly. The gained data helps regulate crop health, crop treatment, crop scouting, irrigation, and perform field soil analysis and crop damage assessments. with the help of drones, the survey makes increases crop yields and reduces time and expenses.

According to experts, the anticipated world population is going to be 9 billion by 2050. Agricultural consumption is additionally said to extend simultaneously by nearly 70%. Drone technology, equipped with AI (AI), machine learning (ML), and remote sensing features, are rising in demand due to its advantages. The central government has acknowledged the importance of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), machine learning, and AI with their 'Digital Sky Platform' online. Drone technology startup companies in India have used these opportunities to accomplish better technological capacities.

HOW DOES DRONE TECHNOLOGY WORK?

Only later finished recognition of drone characteristics can one gain in-full knowledge about agriculture drones. The drone's technology added in a navigation system, multiple sensors, GPS, programmable controllers, high-quality cameras, and tools for autonomous drones. The DJI company is one of the familiar drones used by the industry. a large number of farmers currently use satellite images as an introductory guide for farm management. provided with modern technology, Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) can get more precise data than satellites for precision agriculture. They then process the info captured into agri-tech software to supply beneficial knowledge

Capturing data from agriculture drone takes place within the following stages:

  • Analyzing the area:

    This can identifies the territory and being tested. Therefore, the primary step includes establishing a boundary, analyses of the world, then finally, uploading the technical GPS information into the drone's navigation system.

  • Using Autonomous Drones:

    Since Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) are independent, they enter flight patterns into their already established system to gather required data.

  • Uploading the data:

    After capturing all the specified data through sensors like the multispectral sensor/RGB sensor, it's processed through numerous software for further analysis and interpretation.

  • Output:

    After collecting the info, they format it in order that farmers can understand the info with no hassle, bringing them a step closer to precision farming. 3D mapping or Photogrammetry are popular methods to display extensive data collected.

BEST DRONE PRACTICES

Drone technology fastly reestablishes traditional agriculture practices and is subsequently accomplishing them as follows

Irrigation Monitoring:

Drones technology including multispectral sensors, thermal, hyperspectral, or recognize areas that are too wet or need improvement by the farmer. Drone survey helps improve water efficiency and disclose potential pooling/leaks in irrigation by providing Irrigation monitoring yields calculations of the vegetation index to assist realize the health of crops and emitted heat/energy.

Crop Health Monitoring and Surveillance

It is crucial to trace the health of the vegetation and spot bacterial/fungal plagues within the early stages. Agriculture drones can identify which plants reflect varying amounts of green light and Near-infrared spectroscopy light. This data helps produce multispectral images to trace crop health. Quick monitoring and discoveries of any defects can help save crops. In circumstances of failure, the farmer also can document the damages for accurate insurance claims.

Crop Damage Assessment

Agricultural drone technology fitted along with RGB sensors and the multispectral sensors also detect field areas inflicted by infections, pests, and weeds, consistent with this information, the amounts of chemicals wanted to fight these infestations are known and this helps farmer diminish the prices inflicted.

Field Soil Analysis

The drone survey allows farmers to get information about their land's soil conditions. Multispectral sensors allow seizing data useful for seed planting patterns, thorough field soil analysis, irrigation, and nitrogen-level management. Precise Photogrammetry/ 3D mapping access by farmers to research their soil conditions thorough out their farms.

Planting

Drone startups in India have discovered drone-planting systems that help drones to shoot pods and their seeds and crucial nutrients into the soil. This technology doesn't only reduce costs by almost 85% but also increases consistency and efficiency.

Agricultural spraying

Through drone crop spraying, human contact with such harmful chemicals is restricted. Agri-drones can perform this task much quicker than vehicles/airplanes. Drones with RGB sensors and multispectral sensors can identify accurately and treat problematic areas. Professionals say that aerial spraying is five times faster with drones when compared to other methods.

Livestock tracking

The drone survey allows the farmers to not keep track of their crops only but also monitor the movements of their cattle. Thermal sensor technology is useful to find lost animals and find an injury or sickness. Drones can perform this function favorably and this adds comprehensively to the assembly of vegetation.

BENEFITS OF DRONE TECHNOLOGY

As innovators show new technologies for their commercial uses increase day by day. the govt has been easing restrictions for drone usage and is supporting startups to return up with novel ideas. As drone surveys become more common, they also become less expensive. In agriculture, they need a plethora of benefits. Some are as follows:

Enhanced Production

The farmer can develop production quantity through great irrigation planning, monitoring of crop health, increased soil health, and adaptation to environmental changes.

Effective and Adaptive Techniques

Drone usage leads to regular updates to farmers about their crops and helps develop strengthened farming techniques. they will adapt to the weather and allocate resources with no wastage.

Greater safety of farmers

it's safer and more convenient for farmers to use drones to spray pesticides in terrains challenging to succeed in, infected areas, taller crops, and power lines. It also helps farmers prevent spraying the crops, which results in less pollution and chemicals within the soil.

10x faster data for quick decision-making

Drone surveys back farmers with accurate processing that encourages them to form quick and mindful decisions without second-guessing, allowing farmers to save lots of the time invested in crop scouting. Various sensors of the drone enable capturing and analyzing data from the whole field. the info can specialize in problematic areas like infected crops/unhealthy crops, different colored crops, moisture levels, etc. The drone is used to fix with some sensors for other crops and allowing a highly accurate and diverse crop management system.

Less wastage of resources

Agri-drones enables optimum usage of all resources like fertilizer, water, seeds, and pesticides.

99% Accuracy rate

The drone survey helps farmers calculate the precise land size, segment the varied crops, and enjoy soil mapping.

Useful for Insurance claims

Farmers use the info captured through drones to say crop insurance just in case of any damages. They even calculate risks/losses related to the land while being insured.

Evidence for insurance companies

Agricultural insurance sectors have to use Agri-drones technology for efficient and trustworthy data. They capture the damages that have occurred for the proper estimation of monetary payback to the farmers.

LOCUST SWARM

Locust swarms are known to prey on crops, trees, and other sorts of plants. This feeding can destroy crops planted, causing famine and deprivation in societies that solely believe these crops for survival. In recent times, swarms of locusts have invaded several areas in India, especially Rajasthan. With nearly 90,000 Hectares of land affected across 20 districts, these growing swarms are threatening to amplify into an agrarian disaster.

Most nations battling locust swarms rely significantly on organophosphate chemicals. These are worked in little concentrated so many by vehicle-mounted and aerial sprayers. Rajasthan has stationed drones to hold out the spraying efficiently. Drones can diffuse pesticides on approximately 2.5-acres in a mere quarter-hour. Using drones to combat the locust swarms is an instantaneous, secure, and practical approach.

FINAL THOUGHTS

As mentioned before, agricultural drone technology is undoubtedly the longer term of the Indian agrarian community. It can transform traditional farming methods in uncountable ways. albeit this technology is more complex to be conversant in, it'll yield its leads to no time once learned.

Farmers must understand the whole process. Determination of goals, creating an equilibrium within the drone and software utilized, and being conversant in the principles of using such technology will stand as a challenge. The Indian farmers will need to have training or third-party experts within the drone technology industry for the acquisition of reliable data. Drones have changed the course of obtaining data in almost every sort of industry, and can only deem to become bigger and better within the coming years.


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