The use of drones has no boundaries. Currently, drones in agriculture have become super popular. Farmers are using these small aerial vehicles to calculate the time at which they should harvest their crops and winemakers use them in wineries and distilleries.
Challenges Faced By Farmers
All crops need certain weather conditions and time before it can be harvested, and it is only after inspections of the crop that one can harvest the crop. However, when it comes to harvesting fruits, the timing becomes very crucial.
Not all plants flower and produce fruit at the same time so knowing which plant to harvest and which one to leave during harvesting is of importance. If fruits are harvested before ripening, your investment in terms of time and money will go to waste, and you will suffer losses.
On the other hand, if you are late in harvesting the ripe fruits then you will lose out because your competition will be in the market with the product before you and secondly because of the wastage of the fruit due to over-ripening and/or rotting. All these situations are taken care of by knowing the exact time when you should harvest the crop.
With the passage of time, drones are becoming useful for farmers in more ways than one. Recently the drones have been used by the farmers who own vineyards for figuring out if the grapes are ripe enough to be harvested or not.
Drones are used to give farmers a chance to have an aerial view of their crops. The aerial images that the drone provides can be studied to figure out the vine stress and color variation. These two factors will help in determining the right date to harvest the crop.
The drones used for this purpose have point and shoot cameras attached to them. This camera takes images for the field in collaboration with the GPS, pointing to the exact location of the picture.
Also, the camera coverage area and the height from which the image is taken are pre-determined. All the images are then stitched to form a 3D picture of the area covered.
These images are very useful for the farmers as they get the chance to harvest the crop at exactly the right time, enabling them to get their product into the market before their competitors. It also minimizes wastage due to over-ripening and falling off of the fruits.
Moreover, if the fruits are not ripe enough, the farmers will know it well in advance and won’t have to take a trip to the farm, saving a lot of time.
When there is a lot of competition, it becomes very crucial to pick the grapes at the right time and UAVs help you determine that exact time for harvesting. This both saves costs for the farmers and results in higher profits.
It is a time of technological boom as far as agriculture is concerned. Gone are the days when farmers were technologically illiterate. Today the farmers are not only using the latest technology to increase their produce but are also helping engineers and scientists in developing new tools and methods of farming.