Agricultural drones for farm imaging

1. Sustainability Problem: Agriculture (including animal farming) consumes about 2750 billion cubic metres of freshwater every year (70% of global water withdrawals) and will rise to 3300 – 3400 bcm per year (80-85% of global withdrawal, an increase equal to the water consumption of China), with increase in global population to 9.6 billion by 2050.

Category: Water, Health, Energy

2. Solution: 

https://www.technologyreview.com/s/526491/agricultural-drones/

  • Crop imaging through easy-to-use ­agricultural drones equipped with ­cameras, worth less than $1,000, identifies specific areas on a field that needs to be attended to.
  • Tractors autonomously plant seeds within a few centimeters of their target locations, and GPS-guided harvesters reap the crops with equal accuracy.
  • Close monitoring of crops could improve water use and pest management, thereby reducing overall global water consumption.

3. Organizational Stakeholders: Drone manufacturers, Farmers and Regulatory agencies

4. Next steps for deployment:

  • 3 million drones will be manufactured in 2017. Drone manufacturers have to create designs that can fit the imaging cameras.
  • Farmers need to be trained in operating drones and in accepting the new technology.
  • Regulatory agencies like Federal Aviation Agency need to ease aviation restrictions for drones, for wide deployment.
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One thought on “Agricultural drones for farm imaging

  1. Farmers can use images from these drones in 3 ways to help improve their farms/crops 1) they see a view that can reveal all problems, ranging from irrigation issues to soil variation, and pest infestations 2) a view that highlights the differences between healthy and unhealthy plants, and 3) time lapse view taken from the same place every week to show changes and quickly identify variances

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