The Pros and Cons of Drones in Agriculture

Drones, that have been once a reserve regarding the military, are right now redefining precision agriculture .

The number of farmers adopting the use regarding drones inside their farms is increasing steadily . Drones offer you them a low-cost airborne camera platform. This method farmers can cost-effectively keep an eye on their crops.

Drones are used in order to capture images which usually are later processed using application to create a reflectance map the crops within the farm.

Extreme weather conditions are about the rise. With typically the growing world population, gardening consumption is likely to develop tremendously. Owing to these kinds of circumstances, many more farmers need to embrace drone technology.

Right now there are lots of benefits to drones inside agriculture, h owever, just like any some other technology, drones have their advantages and cons that farmers needs to be aware of prior to they go purchasing one.

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This is called a Remote Pilot Certificate.

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Drones could end up being useful for soil and industry analysis. They can become used to produce precise 3-D maps that may be used to carry out soil analysis on dirt property, moisture content, plus soil erosion. Everyone these days in planning seed planting patterns. Even after planting, these kinds of information is useful with regard to both irrigation and typically the management of the nitrogen degree in the soil.


Though not quite prevalent just but, some manufacturers have arrive up with systems able to shoot pods that contain seeds and plant nutrients into the already ready soil. This profoundly decreases the planting costs.


One associated with the largest obstacles in farming is inefficient crop monitoring of vast fields. This challenge is manufactured even worse by the rise of unpredictable weather patterns which usually lead to increased dangers and maintenance costs. Drones may be used to build time series animations to show precise crop development which reveals production inefficiencies therefore better crop management.

DJI Phantom 3 Professional surveying a field

Drones for Agriculture Spraying

Using ultrasonic echoing and lasers, drones can adjust altitude with a new change in topography in addition to geography. Their capacity to check out and modulate its distance from the ground allows them to spray typically the correct amount of the required liquid evenly in actual time. This results in increased efficiency because the amount of water penetrating directly into groundwater is minimized. Spraying using drones has likewise confirmed to be faster than additional traditional methods.


Drones equipped together with thermal, hyper-spectral , or thermal receptors can identify the parts of the field have got become dry. This way the identified areas could be attended to immediately making irrigation precise in addition to timely.

Health Assessment

Some drones usually are capable of scanning plants using visible and near infrared light . On-board light running devices are then able to identify the amounts of green and near-infrared lighting reflected by the plant life. This data is after that used to develop multi-spectral images which depict the plant health. These pictures can be used to be able to track crop health insurance and in order to monitor remedied administered if any sickness is uncovered.

Simplicity of Deployment

Unlike traditional aircraft, the drones are easier plus cheaper to deploy.



Flight Moment and Flight Range

There are usually some issues with drones in agriculture. Most of the drones have a short trip time of between something like 20 minutes to an hours. This will make limits the plot it can cover regarding every charge. The flight range also limits typically the radius that can be cover throughout every flight time. Drones that can offer extended flight time and longer range are relatively costlier.

Preliminary Cost of Purchase

Drones with the features that qualify them use with the gardening are quite costly. This specific is mostly so for fixed wing drones that could cost up to $25000 (PrecisionHawk’s Lancaster). For several drones, the heavy cost is inclusive of equipment, software, tools and the image sensors.

Getting drone that does not really come equipped with the essential equipment could be less expensive. Yet , the desired video cameras and the processing application are quite costly rendering it equally capital intensive. Acquiring drones equipped for employ in agriculture could prove costly in the growing process but worthwhile in the particular long run

Federal Laws

The usage of drones for agriculture purposes is considered commercial. This implies the farmer needs to be able to undergo FAA operator training so as to get a remote pilot certificate or hire an operator along with such qualifications. FAA furthermore demands that drones become flown at an altitude of not more as compared to 400 feet.

Interference Inside the Airspace

Agricultural drones share a similar airspace with manually manned plane. Hence they are vulnerable to interference. It’s, therefore, a good idea the farmer files his/her flight plan with typically the local airport or the FAA ahead of the flight.


Most of the arable farmlands in the US have very little online coverage if any. This means that any character intending to use drones has to invest within connectivity or buy the drone capable of taking and storing data locally in a format that will can later be processed.

Weather conditions Dependent

Drones are much more susceptible to climatic conditions, as opposed to traditional aircraft. If that is very windy outside or rainy outside you may not be capable to fly them.

Knowledge and Skill

The images require research by a skilled and knowledgeable personnel for them to translate to virtually any useful information. This implies a good average farmer without these types of skills may need training or may be forced in order to hire a skilled employees conversant with the research software to help away with the image processing.

Drone technological innovation keeps improving every day. Along with many manufacturers entering a, it’ s hoped that this cost of the drones and the accompanying equipment will certainly reduce. Limitations like trip time and range are also expected to be fixed by an improvement inside technology. These improvements will make sure that farmers reap even more from the use associated with drones.

3 regarding the Best Priced Drones for Agriculture are:

1. The particular DJI Phantom 3 Standard . It has the flight time of around twenty-three minutes, and captures very good 12 MP Pictures and 2. 7k video clip.

It really is cheap, and a good beginner drone, and can be used for crop monitoring , 3D-mapping & NDVI (with the help associated with an app) and photography .

2. The Phantom four Pro , which often can do all of which the Standard can carry out but has a flight time of around 30 minutes, and a 7 kilometres control range.

It also has obstacle avoidance and a superior 20 MP sensor, capturing video in 4K. It can be used regarding crop monitoring , 3D-mapping + NDVI (with the help of an app), and photography .

3. The DJI Motivate 1 , a good amazing tool which could be utilized for Thermal Imaging if you combine this with a DJI Zenmuse XT thermal imaging camera. Like the Phantoms it can be used for 3D-mapping +  NDVI (with the aid of an app), crop monitoring and photography . It may take 4k video in 360⁰.

Also see our complete list of the best drones on the market 2019 .

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Peter Kipkemoi

Chris Kipkemoi

Peter Kipkemoi is an UAV lover that owns and pilots a DJI Phantom two. Peter has lots of hands on experience with operating quadcopters and octocopters, plus loves reviewing and writing about civilian and army drones.

Peter Kipkemoi

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