Drones in Agriculture

While drones are commonly talked about for a multitude of uses, one that is commonly overlooked is their use for farming, despite the fact that agriculture is projected to make up 70% of the unmanned aircraft market; this will be around 32 billion dollars.  Drones could help farmers in many different ways and could allow for healthier crops and less waste in terms of fertilizer as well as water, both of which are would be beneficial for the environment.

Some of these uses could include planting seeds. Drones would have the ability to shoot seed pods into the ground along with nutrients, thus increasing the uptake rate of crops and decreasing the costs. Drones would also be able to help farmers water efficiently by analyzing the health of the crops and determining which crops need water and certain pesticides.

Farms are usually seen as the culprits for multiple sources of pollution, whether it be pesticides or fertilizers. Implementing drones would cut back on this pollution because the drones would ensure that the crops get the nutrients they need but not more. This means the crop will be able to absorb the nutrients in the fertilizer, so it will not run off into nearby waterways and damage the wildlife inhabiting streams and other ecosystems.




3 thoughts on “Drones in Agriculture

  1. Using drones for something as farming is surprisingly interesting. Farmers all over the world struggle with the wide vast area of taking care of crops and sustaining them for the people. To make this task easier, drones can accurately manage the crops by measuring, observing, and responding to changes in crops. These drones can do things a farmer isn’t capable of doing such as soil health scans, monitoring crop health, applying fertilizers, watering the fields, tracking weather, and collecting the data to analyze for prompt action. Moreover, drones can monitor every step of farming, eliminating the costs of human errors and enabling farmers to react quickly to threats such as drought conditions and pests. I think having drones in agriculture will be a huge game changer for farmers everywhere. I am very optimistic to see drones or robots work in the real world for the benefits it can provide for humanity.


  2. While I agree drones may prove useful in some agricultural settings, I believe the true focus should be on the reduction of overall synthetic fertilizer, pesticide, and herbicide use in the agriculture industry. The innovations in genetically modified organisms have been useful in such a reduction, but have been anecdotally and limited-scientifically linked to a rise in food sensitivities in consumers. Camera-mounted drones may help initiate more efficient harvest times, allowing farmers to view crop status without going to the fields themselves.
    If drones are able to enable precision farming and crop surveying, they could potentially also be a source for researchers to analyze growth patterns to reduce synthetic chemical usage. This could help us develop a more sustainable food system not only in the United States, but in food insecure countries abroad.

  3. I had never thought about using drones for something like farming but it is an amazing idea. While this is great for things like decreasing pollution and making our food healthier, I wonder how it would affect the farm hands. It would most likely eliminate the need to hire people to plant the seeds but perhaps they could still be hired to till the soil. It also could open up a new job market, as drone managers. Farmers might not want to or be able to learn how to use a drone, so there might be a new market. This article more thoroughly explores these ideas, but either way, the agricultural field is changing, hopefully for the better!


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