Drones recently gained popularity for the past 3 years, its application for the past several years ranges from a recreational drones, military usage, surveillance drone and drones for media companies well as filmatography/ photography.
But another area where drones is gaining attention also is in agriculture, right now some farmers are considering the use of drones in farming, while others are already into the used of drones. Previously farmers are using the costly farm vehicle and aircraft such as Grumman Ag Cat to apply low insecticide bait or to scout the farm whether it’s a heard of cattle or corn fields.
Right now to save time and money as well as resources, farmers are investing hundreds of thousands of dollars in purchasing drones to use in farming. Mostly its preliminary purpose is a by checking the field, instead of using an aircraft or a vehicle such as jeep, a drone is enough to serve as a scout to watch or check the location.
For example in Australia, a farmer uses a drone to watch over his herd of sheeps. Mark Gadyne 13 years of age with his father uses a drone to monitor stock, water levels and crops, with the aid of FPV equipped with board monitor. He said that there are a lot of interest from farmers especially from dairy farmers, the drone can be use to look for animals in trouble, drone can also be upgraded and attached with infra-red sensors to check the stock at night.
Benefits of Using Drones in Farms
- Can be use to monitor livestock a or. Heck crops, water levels.
- Create 3D image of the landscape to plan for future expansions and upgrading
- Fast data gathering on crop health, improving yield plus reducing Input cost
- Save cost in equipment and manpower
The SetBack – with the popularity of the drones, so are the problems that are arising with the use of drones, privacy, safety are two of the main concerns. In the U.S there is a huge interest in the use of drones for farming, but there is a hindrance from FAA( Federal Aviation Administration), right now not all farmers can use the drone in their farm related operations such as chemical spraying and roving. So far Federal Aviation Administration has approved only 50 exemptions for farm-related operation. I guess the limit on drone use will be in effect until the FAA can create rules that will maintain safety and privacy standards. Other countries as well is creating/passing new regulations and safety standard on the use of drones.
Companies Offering Farm Drones
So far only few companies offer services and products for farming drones. These companies offer state of the art services for farms.
HoneyComb – an Oregon based company, it offers a wide range of services, their expertise is on the drone based aerial imaging solutions for precision agriculture and forestry. Drone on their list includes increase yields with drone enabled technologies. On their arsenal of drones includes AgDrone System.
AgEagle Aerial Systems – one of the leading provider of unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV). AgEagle has expertise on drone farming technology. Based on their drone technology, farmers can reduce input cost, increase crop yields and other technique that improve farm output.
Hoverfly – one of the companies that offer first commercial multi-rotor flight controllers. The company offers commercial industrial and personalized drones.
Best Farming Drones
If you are planning to get a drone for your farm, you might want consider and check the list of companies above to learn more details on the use of drones for farming. If you want to get one we have here a list of farm drones to get you started fast.
Enduro drone – a fast drone from blank, the Enduro is a quadcopter drone with 25 minutes of flight time. Imaging hardware includes IR: GoPro Hero4 Silver with non-distortion lens and red-notch filter, Optional GP Hero4 Silver RGB camera with non-distortion lens. Flight time . It can cover an area of up to 160 acres, and can be controlled via an RC transmitter, a PC laptop pre-loads with software that you will need in controlling and gathering data. Check out the Price and Specs here.
AgEagle RAPID – one of the few carbon fibre drones in the market. The drone can cover 180 acres of land . It has 40 minutes of flight time. It is an autonomous drone where you can pre-programmed its flight path and let the drone follow it. Capture and process in flight still images including standard full spectrum color photos.
Lancaster – one of the smartest drone for farming the Lancaster has the capability to create its own flight path and adjust to it based on weather conditions.