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Benefits of agricultural drones on the farm

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Drones have become a normal part of our world today. Over the past decade, they have gone from being expensive toys for the rich to affordable objects that many of us have the opportunity to experience. They are used for photography and delivery, and have even become the subject of their own competitions. But drones also play an important role in the public sector.

This is not necessarily limited to their military applications either. Governments and public services – locally and nationally – are beginning to explore how drone technology can make a real difference to our lives. Public leaders are embracing the benefits of these small aerial devices beyond the limited applications most of us know.

Drones offer promising solutions to some perennial public policy challenges. We’ll take a look at some key areas where they are already starting to make a difference to a variety of community problems. How are they being used and what innovations do they offer?

For any population to thrive, a strong agricultural industry is needed. While many public servants are actively involved in the development of smart cities, there are others whose job it is to ensure that our landscapes continue to nourish us into the future. Drones have a place in this process.

The US Department of Agriculture is working with teams of farmers to experiment with using drones to survey crops in Colorado. The UAVs are equipped with infrared cameras that can provide data on soil moisture. This information is then used to calculate how much water crops are consuming, giving farmers guidance for strategic irrigation. The purpose is not only to provide information to farmers, but also to maintain a balance that ensures the Colorado River – which serves an estimated 40 million people – is not overused to the point of drought.

Around the world, state agricultural agencies are encouraging farmers to use UAVs and the data they provide. The European Commission’s 2018 report, Drones in Agriculture, said that one of the keys to meeting growing food demand is to incorporate Big Data and the Internet of Things into agriculture. The same source reported that drones can be used to quickly produce 3D mapping of land to develop more efficient seed planting patterns. Drones can also use multispectral cameras to create orthomosaic maps, allowing farmers to monitor the health of crops more frequently and in greater detail than before.

Conclusion

Drones are much more than just recreational and photographic aircraft. Their ability to maneuver into difficult situations, deliver supplies to remote areas, and collect vast amounts of data has implications for public sector operations. From assisting rescue efforts to supporting agriculture, drones have the potential to make a significant impact on our lives.

Format: https://www.roboticstomorrow.com/article/2020/03/public-benefits-of-drone-technology/15025/