New technology appears to be quickly changing the world we live in and by now, the importance of innovation in helping transition industries through the digital era should be pretty common knowledge. The application of new technologies such as drone technology can bring so many possibilities to diverse industries.
Take agriculture, for example. The sector has long been plagued by issues and challenges, from the maintenance of organic produce and the management of inventory to the handling of staff and other crucial elements related to the successful delivery of goods. Yes, this can be a tough sector to enter and to survive in (let alone thrive in), requiring an extensive amount of knowledge, skills and tools to achieve results.
In recent years, drone technology has managed to improve many elements related to agricultural processes, responding to and mitigating concerns like water quality and quantity, climate change, soil quality, input prices and more.
A PricewaterhouseCoopers study revealed that the global market for drone-powered business solutions was valued at $127.3 billion in 2016. Agriculture alone had prospective drone applications in global projects that were valued at $32.4 billion.
Farmers are calling this use of technology in their work precision agriculture and it seems to be doing a lot to benefit business owners across different parts of the agricultural spectrum.
Here are some of the key areas that drone technology has actually been able to focus on and help enhance.
In a nutshell, drones have been able to provide precise and accurate advanced data-gathering capabilities for agricultural business owners who need to know vital information about the environments they work with.
Aerial survey drones (both fixed-wing and multi-rotor models) have been largely responsible for the gathering of massive amounts of necessary data. They are fitted with all the software, sensors and hardware needed to check the health of crops, track livestock and issue detailed surveys of farmland.
Convenience and speed
One of the most compelling reasons why drones can make a difference in agriculture is due to the demanding speed and accuracy in which data needs to be collected and stored. Drones can be easily deployed and quickly launched in order to extract field-level information almost instantly.
A grower or service provider can have a drone in the back of his or her truck. Real-time results and immediacy are some of the biggest advantages that drones can bring.
Agriculture is very much a numbers game. Costs must be effectively managed at all times and capital must be distributed perfectly in order to ensure the longevity of the business. In turn, the affordability of drone technology is a huge attraction for many in the industry. Drones require very modest amounts of capital investment compared to many of the farm equipment needed for initial setup.
On top of that, the results that they yield in terms of data gathering and support can lead to monetary savings and profit advantages. Operating drones can also be fairly simple, especially if they are designed or pre-programmed to fulfil specific tasks by skilled drone specialists.
They are easy to implement
Over time, integration into a regular crop-scouting workflow is becoming tremendously easier. These days, drones can work to collect aerial data while workers check fields for pests or other on-ground issues. The quality and utility of the final data from the work of drones can be easily achieved through the use of these nifty machines, as long as there are specialists on hand to maintain and oversee such initiatives. Machines and human labour should work together to achieve optimum results.
The possibility of getting better through innovation
Deep machine learning applications can help agriculture players who have already incorporated drone technology into their operations to benefit from newer and better features. Increasingly sophisticated accessories and cameras, coupled with the reduced computing resources necessary to run such machines all seem to be working in favour for the industry.