India has a rich history of agriculture, and to date, a massive portion of its rural population depends upon farming for their livelihood. Over time, Indian farmers have been embracing new agriculture methods, advanced tools, and the latest farming equipment, vehicles to catch up with other progressive farmers around the globe. And now is the time to utilise modern agriculture technology in the form of agricultural drones.
Drones or Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) have the potential to bring revolution in the agriculture sector, increasing farming efficiency, enhancing crop quality, all while lowering the overall expenditure.
Why should farmers consider using agriculture drones?
The world is changing fast, and a lot is happening around it. In such times, adaptation is vital for all, and so is for farmers. Moreover, given the frequent and often unexpected climate changes, farmers need a next-generation technology solution to meet various challenges they usually face.
Drones have come up as that solution, which can be a crucial component required to encourage smart farming, helping farmers improve crop quality, boost yield, prevent damage, cut down costs, and reap a series of other significant benefits.
Let’s now discuss how you, as a farmer, can use drones for agriculture.
Best practices for using drones for farming purposes
Soil quality assessment
Data on soil is fundamental to smart farming as it helps farmers to get accurate and detailed information to assess soil quality or condition, enabling them to take the best possible actions in the first place. Farmers need to visit their farm, collect a sample, and do the evaluation manually; some even hire professional services for soil testing. In comparison, the same process can now be performed by a drone equipped with smart agriculture sensors in a more efficient, speedy and cost-effective manner with greater data accuracy – all you need to make effective decisions on time.
You must keep track of your crops’ health, and the early you spot plagues (bacterial or fungal), the easier it becomes to save them. You can monitor your crops (from the comfort of your home) using agricultural drones that can detect the plants reflecting different amounts of green light and near-infrared spectroscopy NIRS light.
This data is essential to keep a tap on crop health, and drones with crop monitoring features can even provide multispectral images, making this practice a lot easier.
Agricultural drones with in-built multispectral and RGB sensors can help monitor farms, crops and detect weeds, pests and infections. Having these insights, you can determine the quantity and type of chemicals required to rectify or treat infestations, leading to cost savings.
Regular, quick and precise monitoring helps you discover any defects in advance so that you can save your crops before they get spoiled. Additionally, in case of damaged crops, you can also present the information collected from the drone to make your insurance claim authentic and stronger.
After providing you with reliable information on farms, crops, plants, etc., an agricultural drone can do the crop spraying effectively.
This will help you not only spray faster but also keep away from chemicals that might be harmful to your skin, lungs or overall health.
Even professionals say that a drone can speed up aerial spraying up to five times compared to other traditional ways.
Livestock farmers are aware of the hassles associated with livestock management. If you are also tired of keeping an eye on your livestock, a specialised drone can make your life a lot easier. Drones can monitor the movement of your animals while they graze around on the pastures. As a result, you will need not ride horseback or fuel-run motor vehicles, leading to cost savings.
Moreover, drones with thermal sensor technology can search and spot cattle that are lost, sick or injured, in addition to calculating the exact number of members in your herd. Considering that, we can say that drones can perform a better job than herding dogs regarding livestock monitoring and surveillance.
In the near future, drones can prepare the soil and shoot seeds in, helping you get rid of tiring and time consuming manual methods. Many companies are working on this approach, and soon we will get specialised drones for the same.
As now you know how to use drones for agriculture in the best possible manner to maximise crop yield, you should also become aware of drone operating laws in India.
General Rules and Regulations of Drone Usage in India
- You must be at least 18 years old or above and have a certificate to use a drone
- You cannot fly your drone in sensitive areas like near airports or areas where aircraft traffic is expected, military zones, and regions including government offices and government officials’ residence areas.
- All drones must have a license plate that can provide enough information about the owner/operator and their contact details.
- You cannot fly more than one UAV at a time.
- All drones necessitate liability insurance.
For more detailed information on Indian drone usage rules, visit here – www.civilaviation.gov.in
Agricultural drones can turn out to be excellent support for all farmers, especially for small- and medium-scale farmers who might not have the required financial resources to afford expensive tools, machines, vehicles, or labour. With the help of a drone, you can also cut your agriculture costs while saving a lot of time spent on various farming processes.
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