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article imageDisruption and opportunities with expansion of agribusiness drones

By Tim Sandle     Sep 13, 2017 in Environment
A new report by Ipsos Business Consulting highlights opportunities for the adoption and growth of agriculture drones within Asia. Agriculture drones increased 344 percent between 2013 and 2015, rising in sales from US$ 94.1 million to US$ 323.9 million.
The use of drones for agriculture (AgDrones), as with other civilian applications, has increased in recent years driven by lower manufacturing costs, greater accessibility, and the expansion of wireless mobile connectivity. Agriculture unmanned aerial vehicles (drones) are typically used for activities like with remote sensing, hyper-spectral imaging, and sophisticated data analytics. These help to enhance precision agriculture practices. The technology is, however, capable of so much more according to the Ipsos report.
Applications include assessing areas to improve water usage for irrigation; using precision farming techniques to reduce the amount of chemicals used for crop spraying; and for seeking efficiencies with the deployment of manual labor.
AgDrones can also be used for crop spraying, remote sensing, and farm management. The use of drones is also encouraged by agribusiness companies like Monsanto, Bayer and Dow Dupont. These companies are integrating crop data with Decision Support Systems (DSS) to provide straightforward solutions to farm operators.
The report addresses, with a focus on the Asian market, the economic drivers for the adoption of AgDrones; improvements in drone software; the application of agriculture drones in the farm management cycles; profiles of early agriculture drone adopters; and focus on countries like China, Thailand, South Korea, and Philippines.
Some of the applications of drones and the contribution they can make to the agribusiness are shown below:
AgDrones tend to be either fixed-wing or multi-rotor design. Fixed-wing drones are good choice, according to website ‘Best Drone For The Job’, when a lot of ground needs covering rapidly. These types of drones can cover up to 10 times the acreage that a typical quadcopter can cover in a single flight. Whereas a multi-rotor drone is a good choice for close-in scouting, spotting and detailed surveying tasks than a fixed wing drone.
Barn within the farm complex
Barn within the farm complex
An example of a leading agriculture drone is the AgDrone System. This drone is simple to operate. For flight, the user draws a polygon defining the flight area and the mission planning software then automatically calculates the route. The manufacturer HoneyComb has equipped the drone with cloud computing functionality. The drone is also robust, manufactured from high strength aramid fiber (which is used in aerospace and military applications, for ballistic-rated body armor fabric and ballistic composites).
More about Drones, Agriculture, agdrones, Farming
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