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Innovating the Agriculture/Farming Industry with Drones & UAVs

U.S. agriculture is one of a handful of industries that has changed very little over the course of human existence. Aside from tools, machinery, and to some extent GMOs, there’s little we can do to supplement the seasonal process of sowing and reaping from the earth. That is, there was until now.

From Antiquated to Innovation

In a world where optimization has been critical to the survival of all industries, farming and agriculture have made the unlikely acquaintance of Unmanned Arial Systems (UAS), also called drones. Resources are increasingly limited, so maximizing production is critical to the success of every farmer across the U.S., and beyond. One bad outbreak of crop disease, mismanagement of the soil, or defects in an irrigation system can reap havoc on a farmer’s yield and bottom line.

Farm-Friendly Applications

Drones provide farmers with a better vantage point from which to monitor their crops, livestock, and more without relying on expensive piloted aircrafts, or worse, surveying these areas by foot or horseback. UAS are less expensive than the alternative of flying a helicopter or other small aircraft, and they’re more time efficient than antiquated ground tactics. From the sky, farmers and ranchers can view areas where crops may be failing; they can inspect irrigation systems, as well as monitor the movement of livestock and potentially dangerous animals encroaching on private property. It's in testing phase right now in some commercial green houses, it’s possible that drones may even be able to help water, spray pesticides, and complete other menial tasks. Some of the most benefits for agricultural drones:
  • Increase yields - better management of crops, using thermal readings with advanced cameras and computers to offer crucial information to plant health using NDVI Enhanced imagery.
  • Save time - the more you know about your fields and crops the better you can manager your time and resources.
  • Increased ROI - better yields plus better use of time is going to grant you a greater return on your investment.
  • Ease of use. You don't have to be a rocket scientist to fly or operate a drone. Some of the drones we sell are ready to fly out of the box.
  • Integrated GIS mapping - A geographic information system (GIS) lets us visualize, question, analyze, and interpret data to understand relationships, patterns, and trends.
  • Color contrast crop health imaging

The View From Above

At first blush, farming and UAS are an unlikely pair, but upon inspection it become clear that this is a great opportunity for farmers and agriculturists to innovate their industry and improve the quality of food systems the world over. Right now, UAS is prohibited for any commercial use, even on private property, without an airworthiness certificate. The National Airspace System (NAS) is protected and regulated by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) which has the authority to award registration and certificates of special exceptions as outlined by the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012. Farmers and other agriculturists interested in using a drone technology to conduct commercial operations must by law obtain permission to fly within the national airspace. All commercially operated UAS must petition for commercial use, which is awarded on a case-by-case basis as deemed fit by the FAA. It has been predicted that agriculture and public safety will comprise up to 90 percent of the total domestic drone industry. In a hearing last year, the Senate Commerce Committee Subcommittee on Aviation discussed the fact that, while farming has less elasticity as far as drone application is concerned, it’s intended use is nevertheless worthwhile. For instance, farmers can spot a small area that needs additional water in lieu of watering the entire field. If you’re wondering how to innovate your farm or agricultural endeavor, purchasing an UAS should be at the top your list. To find out which drone is best for your innovative plans, or if you have questions about a particular model, give us a call at 888-822-8676 or send us a message at sales@spacecitydrones.com.
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