Are Drones the Answer to Sustainable Agriculture?

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The pressure is growing on the farming industry. Increasing demands in food production and consumption means the world supply is reaching new highs, while commodity prices remain low. As today’s discerning consumers becoming more and more interested in where their food comes from, farmers and agronomists must improve product traceability – all while trying to reduce costs and optimize resource management.

Climate change, too, is expected significantly impact the agriculture industry. This makes it harder than ever to protect the security of the supply chain. Along with ever-changing environmental conditions, the effects of climate change could result in losses to agriculture of up to 16% by 2050 across Europe. Agriculture professionals are therefore looking to enhance their sustainability measures – for both environmental and economic benefits.

How can drones help sustain agriculture?

Working ‘smarter’ is one option. The UK’s National Farmers’ Union (NFU), for example, advocates the introduction of a range of measures to improve land management, increase farming efficiencies, and boost the wider bioeconomy. Drones, or unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), are helping to lead the way in the precision farming space, enabling yield and crops within fields to be accurately mapped and monitored.

In fact, drones are helping farmers to provide more intense and efficient cultivation methods. With more access to robust and reliable data, changes can be made to everyday operations, such as adjusting fertilizer prescriptions or identifying crop diseases before they get out of control. Large areas of farmland have traditionally proved challenging to map. They can easily and quickly be monitored using UAVs – providing insights farmers need to make insightful and informed choices.

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The eBee SQ (pictured) captures valuable multispectral imagery from above.

Taking off with UAVs

The potential for UAVs in improving sustainable agriculture is huge. It has already started to be recognized as a viable alternative to traditional methods, like ground mapping. Agriculture professionals are increasingly turning to drones to not only help guide decision-making but also save valuable resources and boost farm productivity.

Benjamin Pinguet, Product and Solution Manager at senseFly, recently outlined the opportunity for drones to improve sustainability measures in agriculture. This includes the best software to complement usage, relevant regulations and ways it can streamline global workflows.

To read the full article in PrecisionAg from Benjamin, click here.

To learn more about how senseFly agriculture drone solutions can optimize your operations, click here.

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