Drone Use for Agricultural Purposes Continues to Rise

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Technology continues to make our lives easier — whether it’s at home, at work, or in any other setting, people use technology to get tasks done quicker and more efficiently. One piece of technology that has made its way into a variety of industries around the world is drones. Drone devices have been used for several purposes, from security to deliveries. And now, drones are helping farmers around the world.

In El Salvador, fields full of sugar cane are now being taken care of by drones. Hexacopters are fitted with 20-liter tanks that can carry fertilizer or pesticides. These drones are not only helping farmers tend to current fields, they’re also helping farmers reach new fields that weren’t previously accessible.

Some farms in El Salvador are simply too difficult to access by tractors or even planes. But with drones, farmers can program pre-mapped routes and let the drones do the work. In the U.S. alone, more than 770,000 drones have been registered with the FAA and that number is continuing to grow around the world.

Over in Australia, modern drone technology is being used for agricultural purposes as well. The Hunter Region in New South Wales has some of the world’s most famous wines, which are only growing stronger thanks to drones. While this region has been utilizing drones for some time now, they’re now expanding drone use to help with spraying weeds on cliffs, inspecting railways, and surveying the land. Just like in El Salvador, the region is utilizing the help of herbicide- and pesticide-spraying drones to reach places that aren’t easily accessible.

“Aerial spraying is faster than spraying by hand and can control more than 95 percent of Bitou bush in targeted areas,” said Dr. Alice Howe, Hunter Region’s Lake Macquarie City Council planning and sustainability manager. “The precision means minimal impact on native plant species and a higher probability of eliminating the problem on our first go.”

Farm machinery and equipment is something people invest a lot of time and money in. In 2012 alone, farm equipment in the U.S. consisted of $38.3 billion and 9% of all machinery manufacturing. But with new drone technology, farmers can focus more of their efforts on utilizing revolutionary devices.

Even in countries like Asia, experts expect to see a growth in the use of drones for agricultural purposes. With the ability to easily monitor crop growth and manage several fields in a shorter period of time, farmers can benefit immensely from using drones.

So as drones continue to be used for several purposes in a variety of industries, experts believe agricultural purposes for drones will continue to grow.

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