Tag: PrecisionAgriculture

How are Drones Making a Difference in Viticulture?

By Jeremiah Karpowicz

Talk about how drones will play a role on the “farm of the future” is as pervasive as it is captivating. These benefits are being showcased for the agriculture industry as a whole in terms of cost and usability, but drones are also being positioned as the tools that will be utilized to help meet exponential increases in food production demand.

That said, numerous experts have discussed why it doesn’t make sense to consider how drones will impact agriculture as a whole, mostly because this industry is not a single homogenous marketplace.

A farmer that has 100 acres of a certain crop might not be able to use drone technology in the same way as someone who has 1,000 acres, even if we’re talking about the exact same crop in the exact same climate.

Being able to efficiently and effectively utilize a drone depends on a number of factors, and a recent article in Wines & Vines explored how one wine specialist has been able to make the technology work for him.

Jim Meyers is based in Westchester, N.Y. and serves as the viticulture specialist for the Cornell Cooperative Extension in a 17-county region in eastern New York.

His recent article, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Drone, detailed an emerging case study for drones in viticulture, but Meyers had more to say about what it would mean to see the technology utilized as a mainstream precision agriculture device.

Read More: ExpoUAV

6 ways to use a drone on the farm

By Farm and Dairy Staff

According to an April 2018 survey of 269 U.S. farmers, 76 percent of all respondents have concerns related to drone usage. Privacy issues, at 23 percent, topped the list, followed by cybersecurity concerns over data captured and transferred, and potential damage or injury from the drone.

These concerns don’t seem to be slowing adoption with a reported 76 percent of surveyed farmers considering using drones.

Read More: The Farm Dairy

*Got an idea for a drone application on your farm or property? Speak to us.

Smart drones and deep learning deliver low-cost precision agriculture for Aussie farmers

University of South Australia

New aerial drone technology could change the landscape of Australia’s billion-dollar wheat industry by delivering cost-effective mechanisms for farmers to plan and deliver precise water and nutrients to their crops on a need-by-need basis.

Developed by the University of South Australia with the Plant Accelerator at the University of Adelaide and LongReach Plant Breeders, the drone senses a vegetation index—signifying the crop health, moisture and nutrient content, making it easier and more efficient for farmers to manage agricultural land and for breeders to generate new varieties.

Lead researcher, Dr. Zohaib Khan from UniSA’s Phenomics and Bioinformatics Research Centre, says the new technology is a welcome development for the annual $5 billion+ Australian wheat sector.

Read more at: PHYS.ORG

Weed spraying drone draws big crowd at Beef Australia


DRONES on farms are becoming more and more popular so it wasn’t a surprise to see a few around Beef Australia this week.

Much larger than the average run-of-the-mill drone is the DroneAgriculture, a large, heavy-lift octocopter drone with a lift capacity of 20kg that has an aerial application of granule herbicides in confined areas.

DroneAgriculture is a joint venture between AeroBugs and Granular Products to provide a service wherea chief pilot comes to the farm, flies the drone and sprays all of the infesting weeds.

“We saw a need to treat smaller areas and harder to access areas and we teamed up with Nathan,” Granular Products Sales Paul Hubbard said.

“Aerobugs has been going for five years and we have been doing a lot of stuff out in horticulture and in the cotton fields but this is the first time for us in the beef environment,” Drone Agriculture Chief Pilot and Aero Bugs founder Nathan Roy said.

“A lot of farms may need to focus their attention on other aspects of the business and other hard tasks on a bit of a hill or really thick pieces of noxious weeds where we can just take that pain away from them,” Nathan said.

The services is a thorough process.

Read More: The Morning Bulletin

Parrot and AIRINOV are Bringing Agriculture Drones to Africa

The following is a joint press release from Parrot and AIRINOV.

Agriculture is a key and fast-growing industry in Africa and Parrot, the leading European drone group, is offering business solutions, including drones, software and services, to professionals of this business sector. Parrot-AIRINOV teamed up with CTA (The Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation created by the European Union) to help tech start-ups develop precision agriculture all over the African continent, enabling farmers to improve their ROI while respecting the environment.

There is a general consensus that smallholder farming needs to become more productive, more sustainable and more profitable. Drone-based systems/services can contribute to these goals by bringing precision agriculture tools to producers, which include large and medium-scale holdings and associations of small-scale farmers growing the same crop in contiguous areas.

Read More: Drone Life

Microsoft and DJI team up to bring smarter drones to the enterprise

By Frederic Lardinois

At the Microsoft  Build developer conference today, Microsoft and Chinese drone manufacturer DJI announced a new partnership that aims to bring more of Microsoft’s machine learning smarts to commercial drones.

Given Microsoft’s current focus on bringing intelligence to the edge, this is almost a logical partnership, given that drones are essentially semi-autonomous edge computing devices.

DJI  also today announced that Azure is now its preferred cloud computing partner and that it will use the platform to analyze video data, for example. The two companies also plan to offer new commercial drone solutions using Azure IoT Edge and related AI technologies for verticals like agriculture, construction and public safety. Indeed, the companies are already working together on Microsoft’s FarmBeatssolution, an AI and IoT platform for farmers.

Read More: Tech Crunch

Drones making a difference in agriculture research in Texas

Kay Ledbetter, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service

U.S – Drones are being used more in agriculture research across the state.

In the Panhandle, the Texas A&M AgriLife Research dryland wheat variety nursery near Bushland is being monitored weekly by drone flights, offering wheat breeders a chance to see changes on a more real-time basis.

At College Station, Dr. Muthu Bagavathiannan, AgriLife weed scientist, is using drones to “read the weeds” at a research plot at Texas A&M.

“Our goal is to use advanced sensor technology to detect weeds from above the ground and implement precision weed management,” Bagavathiannan said.

The current practice is to have field scouts walk the large fields to look for weed issues, he explained. This is a tedious, time-consuming task that can be inaccurate, and bad weather conditions can prevent timely assessments of weed problems.

“But the UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle) technology would provide the ability to fly over large fields and collect reliable information in a short time period that can be directly relayed into actionable information,” Bagavathiannan said. “We need this technology to make that identification sooner than the naked eye can.”

Read More: Reporter News

US military ground drones set to be deployed on Australian cattle stations

By Matt Brann ABC Rural

Autonomous drones ‘are the future’

Mr Starling said it was now commonplace for pastoral companies to use manned drones to carry out various jobs, but MLA believes manually-operated drones could soon be obsolete.

“It is what we’d call a ‘silent service’.

“These autonomous drones, be they aerial or ground, are just a silent service, they’re in the background, doing their pre-determined task, and the only time you hear from them is when they can’t make a decision and need human input to make a decision on something they’ve seen which is unusual.

“So at MLA we used to have our drone strategy, but now we call it our autonomous strategy — we think drones will reach their limit very soon if we don’t move them into this fully autonomous, silent service offering.”

Read More: ABC News


Drones to boost agricultural production and help maintain food security

By Aditya Chaturvedi
Subsistence farming using bullocks was largely replaced with large tracts of land ploughed by tractors and mechanized harvesters and using GMOs to enhance crop immunity. And the now the next phase in the evolution of agriculture is a large-scale single crop unit that would give unprecedented output because drones would be deployed for multiple functions.

With rapidly growing population, environmental degradation, global warming and the reduction of arable land, food security will be an acute issue and feeding the teeming population would require innovation in agricultural methods and the extensive use of drone technology.

By 2050, the global population will be around 10 billion, and to avoid food shortage, agricultural production will have to be doubled.

Read More: GeoSpatial World

Walmart docs hint at drones tending farms

By Nandita Bose and Tom Polansek

The world’s largest retailer has applied for six patents on drones that aim to prevent crop damage, control pests and cross-pollinate plants.

Walmart’s patent filings hint that it may see a future where farmers use its drones to not only spot crop problems but selectively apply chemicals or even disperse pollen to bring shoppers the freshest and cheapest food possible.

The world’s largest retailer applied for six patents last year on drones that aim to prevent damage to crops, control pest attacks on farms and cross-pollinate plants, according to US Patents and Trademark Office documents that have been made public.

Groceries make up 56 per cent of the company’s total revenue and Walmart may see drone technology as one way to get food from farms to store shelves faster and more cheaply to compete with Amazon.com, following its purchase of Whole Foods Market last year and the expansion of discount chains like Aldi and Lidl.

In one application, Walmart seeks to patent a system that would use drones to identify crop-damaging pests and then dispense insecticides on the critters.

Another suggests the use of drones carrying pollen dispensers to successfully pollinate crops.

Read More: news.com.au