Drones, more scientifically known as unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), have been around for ages, but are just starting to become beneficially used in the agricultural business. Farmers can get a bird’s eye view of their land, animals, and crops just by flying drones at low altitudes. I believe that drones can be extremely beneficial to agricultural farmers in today’s day and age. Given that most farmers are in their fifties, drones can come to be of great use, if known how to operate properly.
There are many pros and cons that can go along when working with drones. First off, a few pros are monitoring, spraying, and analyzing/mapping. Monitoring is one of the most important aspects of having a drone. Monitoring can be used for livestock, as well as other farm animals, to keep watch and make sure no predators are coming in. Predators, such as cougars and wolves, are attacking livestock species and killing them, which results in a loss for farmers. With the use of drones, farmers can track what is coming in and out, and are then able to set up some different techniques that won’t kill the predators, such as hanging strips of cloth from the fence lines, which causes a flutter and scares away the animal. Also, drones have thermal sensors in which monitoring can be used for the crops to make sure that everything is growing properly and identifying irrigation where necessary. Secondly, spraying is a big component of having a drone. Drones can visually scan the ground and spray an even amount of liquid making sure that everything is properly covered.
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It has been concluded that spraying with drones can be completed up to five times as fast than with tractors or other spraying machinery. Mapping is essential when it comes to drones and farming. It can be used to map out the land and measure out the whole area. Cameras are an accessory to drones, in which it takes high quality pictures that can evaluate the condition of the farm at that exact moment so that farmers know what needs to be done. The quality of crops is an important factor in farming and is essential to the farmer. Drones are able to analyze the crops by visualizing them and helping improve the overall quality. On the reverse side, the cons are limitations to routes, high prices, and weather conditions. Drones have a limited amount of airspace to fly around. They cannot fly too low, too high, or too far away. Drones are meant to fly at low altitudes to reach its full potential. Although, drones must stay in a certain area and cannot exceed two kilometers.
As far as pricing goes, drones are not a cheap toy for adults. The more expensive the drone is, the better qualities it may have. They range from about 10,000 to 20,000, which is quite high for the average farmer. Not to mention, the accessories do not come with the actual drone. Cameras, controllers, and Wi-Fi are all required for the drone to operate in full effect. Lastly, weather is also a big issue. Conditions like thunderstorms, tornadoes, and hurricanes have the ability to interrupt the signal and make the drone not functional. Because of these weather conditions, it could completely damage the drone, making for an unhappy farmer. As a result, there are far more good things about drones compared to bad. Yes, they are expensive, but would be money well spent in the long run, if taken care of properly.
In conclusion, drones are and can be a tremendous benefit to farmers, now and in the upcoming future. There are three benefits that I found to be extremely important: yield increases, time saver, and a safe plan for the upcoming future. Using drones not only helps improves the rate of production, but it can also save time for farmers as well as help better plan for crops in the future. On top of that, it can do a ton of other helpful things that will help save time for everyday farmers.
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