There are many applications for which drones are being used by farmers, including crop damage assessment, crop mapping, spraying pesticides/fertilizers, and monitoring growth. Recent declines in the price of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) have allowed for them to be considered as an option for agricultural purposes; currently, their main function is to monitor crops. In the future, drones may also be used to pick fruits and vegetables.
Drones can help farmers save time and money. For example, if a farmer wants to know how much of their crops have been damaged by pests or natural disasters, they can send a drone up to take pictures or videos of the area. Farmers can also use drones for crop mapping, which involves taking pictures of their farmland at different stages of growth to determine the best time for planting or harvest. The same technology can be used to help farmers decide which areas of their crops need more fertilizer or pesticides. Lastly, drones are able to monitor the health and growth of crops; environmental factors like temperature and moisture content can affect crop growth, and drones can be used to monitor those as well.
Drones also help farmers locate missing people and farm animals. They can continue search and rescue missions on their own for longer periods of time than a human would be able to do alone. If a small animal, like a goat or chicken, gets stuck somewhere on the farm, a drone can be sent to get them.
Farmers are not the only ones who can benefit from drones in agriculture; consumers can as well. In the future, it may be possible for supermarkets to receive information about the freshness of fruits and vegetables directly from the farm using drones. This would allow supermarkets to sell those items that are freshest and have the shortest shelf life.
Drones can provide a number of benefits for farmers, including saving time and money, monitoring crops, and locating missing people and animals. For consumers, drones may bring them information about the freshness of fruits and vegetables from the farm directly to the supermarket. In the future, we can expect to see more drones in agriculture, as their benefits become more widely known.