There are statistics which show that the total Earth population will greatly increase to 9 billions in 2050, and the demand for agricultural products will also increase by 70%. As environmental problems increase, agricultural production is facing more and more challenges. The agricultural UAV provides a strong technical guarantee for the more scientific crop planting and protection, as it has powerful data collection and analysis functions.
As the government of many countries relax the restriction on using agricultural UAV, more and more companies have increased their investment in agricultural UAV research and development, which means agricultural UAV will surely move towards a high degree of intelligence and convenient application. At present, the application of agricultural UAV has achieved initial results in agricultural production, which are mainly reflected in the following six aspects.
1. Analysis of land and soil
Agricultural UAV with high-definition cameras and advanced sensors installed, where the accurate three-dimensional maps of land and soil analysis can be drawn to make detailed plans for planting, and it plays a vital role in the initial stage of agricultural production. Furthermore, this category of agricultural UAV can also closely monitor the land condition, providing powerful data which support with later irrigation and soil nitrogen content management.
2. Aerial seeding
A thorough UAV seeding system has been developed through the hard work by scientists. This system is able to inject the seed together with all nutrients required for their growth into the soil at the same time. This technology is effective as it increases the nutrient absorption rate of seeds by 75% and reduces the seeding cost by 85%. Which not only enhance the survival rate of seeds, also decrease the consumption of other resources, which is great.
3. Spraying operation
Agricultural UAV with ultrasonic, radar, and advanced spraying systems installed are widely applied in plant protection operations, and are known as plant protection UAV. This type of UAV is able to adjust its flight height according to the specific geography and identify and avoid any obstacles. It relies on the advanced spraying system to carry out uniform and accurate spraying of crops. This technology greatly reduced the use of pesticides, which means the pollution to the water system and the environment as a result of plant protection operation is also reduced. According to the estimate by experts, plant protection UAV is 5 times more efficient compared to the traditional machinery, which greatly reduces the require and consumption of manpower and other resources.
4. Crop Monitoring
Another major pain point in agricultural production is that the crop monitoring efficacy is low and there is such a huge land to monitor. As a result of global warming (global temperature rises gradually), the climate change is volatile, which means the management and maintenance of land conditions become even more difficult. In the past, farmers relied mainly on satellite images to help with crop monitoring, however, it is expensive and pre-purchase is required. Also the service efficiency of one image per day is difficult to provide the accurate and real-time information of crop monitoring. The agricultural UAV equipped with real-time imaging systems then developed, it provides a reliable and effective guarantee for farmers to monitor the growth of crops more accurately and to take timely and effective control measures.
5. Agricultural irrigation
Agricultural UAV with hyperspectral, multispectral, and thermal sensors installed is able to accurately analyze and identify the arid area of the land and provide powerful data to support with precise irrigation operations. Furthermore, during crop growth, this type of UAV can also calculate the vegetation index, and analyze the crop density and the health status through the heat emitted by the crops themselves.
6. Crop Health Assessment
One of the necessary guarantees for high-quality agricultural production is the health assessment of crops to detect pests and diseases on time. Agricultural UAV equipped with visible infrared and near-infrared emission equipment can accurately analyze the amount of green laight and near-infrared light reflected by crops and draw multispectral images to track health status and changes in crops. Based on the corresponding data, farmers can make quick and effective prevention and control methods in order to protect crops from pests and diseases, thereby significantly improving the efficiency of agricultural production.
In conclusion, due to the rapid growth of human population globally and the continuous rise in the demand for agricultural products, those highly intelligent agricultural UAVs will definitely play an increasingly important and indispensable role in agricultural production in future.