Precision Agriculture and Drones

A drone spraying a farm

Life as we know it has changed since the advent of the coronavirus pandemic, we are now in the dispensation of a new normal. Due to the high contagious nature of Covid-19, the use of drones have become an ideal solution to ensure contactless service (with minimal personal contact).

Mechanized farming is not really widespread all over Africa, due to either the high cost of needed equipment or due to lack of technical know-how. However some claim that the non-mechanization of Agriculture as it should be helps to provide employment to some people especially those in rural areas. Coronavirus with its mode of transmission does not favor the gathering of people as it is highly contagious meaning that Agricultural operations done manually, needing a lot of people would suffer setbacks which would have consequences on certain communities who benefits from those agricultural operations.

Precision agriculture practices, which can help farmers make better informed decisions, have evolved significantly over recent years. From the use of hose and knapsacks to the use of drones , also known as unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), With its mode of operation specific drone types are created to serve different purposes ,the possibilities growing each and every day as human needs diversify.

Large expanses of land set out for agriculture must go through certain stages of preparation for it to be ready for planting and one of the very first is the  Land fumigation(spraying with herbicides) to remove unwanted plants. This stage cannot be effectively handled by humans when very large areas of lands are involved due to fatigue setting resulting in less efficiency, productivity and high cost. Special kind of drones have been built for this purposes this drones come with an inbuilt tank that houses the chemical that would be used to fumigate the areas of land. Given this added ability to a drones mode of operation. It effectively carries out the job of covering large areas of land in an efficient manner at a further reduced operational costs.

At beat drone, precision drones are used to execute spraying on farms, engage in crop supervision and mapping of farmlands.

Beat Drone carrying out spraying activity
The image shows Beat Drone executing spray operation on a farm in Niger State, Nigeria.

 

With an on-board GPS, terrain sensing and automatic sprayer control, a sprayer drone can overcome the problems associated with accessing hard to reach places with marshy environments/other restrictions which is experienced with a boom sprayer, by flying above. The high level of time consumption experienced with the use of a knapsack which can lead to fatigue can also be avoided. A better penetration through the crop is achieved than in traditional methods where downward turbulence is absent. The super low operating cost, low maintenance and affordability makes spraying drones one of the fastest growing sectors in the drone industry.

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