With the world supply at an all-time high and commodity prices at an all-time low as a result of increasing demands in food production and consumption, the modern farming industry is at a crossroads. There is a greater need than ever before for farmers and agronomists across the globe to improve resource management in response to tightening budgets, while the “farm to fork” movement has seen rising pressure for enhanced product traceability, as consumers become more interested in the origin of the goods they purchase and how they were grown.Furthermore, climate change continues to create new layers of complexity for the agriculture industry in protecting the security of the supply chain.Precision agriculture practices, which can help farmers make better informed decisions, have evolved significantly over recent years, with the global market now estimated to reach $43.4 billion by 2025. While drones, also known as unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), have not yet made it into the mainstream agriculture space, they are playing an increasingly important role in precision farming, helping agriculture professionals lead the way with sustainable farming practices, while also protecting and increasing profitability.
What are Agriculture Drones?
The use of drones in the agriculture industry is steadily growing as part of an effective approach to sustainable agricultural management that allows agronomists, agricultural engineers, and farmers to help streamline their operations, using robust data analytics to gain effective insights into their crops. Crop monitoring, for example, is made easier by using drone data to accurately plan and make ongoing improvements, such as the use of ditches and evolving fertilizer applications. Products can be accurately traced from farm to fork using GPS locations for every point in the journey, rather than more traditional time and labor-intensive data collection. UAVs are particularly useful for the careful monitoring of large areas of farmland, considering factors such as slope and elevation, for example, to identify the most suitable seeding prescriptions. The technology has also proven useful in gaining an extensive overview of plant emergence and population, as more accurate data can help with replanting decisions, as well as thinning and pruning activity and the improvement of crop models.
Crucially, the high-resolution nature of drone data can be used to assess the fertility of crops, allowing agricultural professionals to more accurately apply fertilizer, reduce wastage, and plan – and troubleshoot – irrigation systems. The technology can also be particularly effective following natural disasters, such as a flood, to help farmers to assess damage across terrains that may not be readily accessible on foot.
Why use a drone for Farming & Agriculture?
Precision fertilizer programme planning
Nitrogen deficient areas in a crop can be clearly identified from above using drones fitted with cameras that have enhanced sensors. The sensors are calibrated to limit the effect of changing sunlight levels and allow a more accurate calculation of the green area to be made. Flying operations start from the late winter with drones taking hundreds of images of the crop’s developing canopy. The images are then stitched together to form a map and software is used to identify early growth patterns. From there a precise fertilizer programme can be tailored to match the crop’s varying nutrient requirements in different areas of the field.
Weed and disease control programmes
Using similar techniques to the fertilizer planning, drone operators can accurately assess weed and disease levels in arable crops. The drone gathers data that identifies the differing reflective properties of various plant species and areas of the crop which have succumbed to disease. When this information is allied to software and analyzed, weed species and disease can be pinpointed and targeted with high precision crop control measures. Orchards can also make use of the technology with accurate identification and tagging of trees infected with a range of diseases.
Tree and land mapping
As well as the disease control aspect, orchard fruit growers can benefit from reports on tree and row spacing with accurate calculations of canopy coverage. The same applies to forestry and timber production where drones can play an important role in accessing remote sites on terrain that would otherwise be difficult to cover. The ability to cover large ground areas is a major benefit for mapping generally. Hundreds of hectares can be mapped in a day with the most sophisticated systems accurately pinpointing changes in terrain and boundary features to within 10cm. The data captured then creates a 3D computer model to highlight ground features and any changes that may have occurred.
The information can be used to give area measurements for administration purposes or fed into machinery software to help the operator avoid hazards such as electric cables, flooded areas, changes in water courses, or drainage hardware. The drone has a significant advantage over a more time-consuming ground-based system which would involve travelling to, and moving around, the sites and logging GPS co-ordinates.
Larger drones are already capable of applying small quantities of pesticide or fertilizer to crops, orchards and forested areas. However, only a handful of regions and countries permit the use of drones for this type of task.
How can Johnnette JR 7 help you in precision agriculture?
Johnnette JR7 is a multipurpose heavy-lifter Drone that can fly upto 25 minutes and cover a distance of 3 km in autonomous flight. JR 7 is designed to be rugged and can be used in any terrain. The airframe is made up of carbon fiber which is light in weight and high in strength. JR 7 is capable of carrying payloads of upto 7 kg and the payload bay is highly modular and allows the user to replace any kind of payload in no time
JR 7 requires just a two-person flight team, with the pilot performing the final flight checks and launching the aircraft under the supervision of their counterpart, the mission commander – providing safety and flexibility during the mission. JR 7 is designed for rapid deployment and high mobility. With JR 7 you will be able to boost the quality, efficiency, and safety of your data collection.
Why choose the Johnnette JR 7?
The Johnnette JR 7 drone is a heavy lifter drone that allows you to fly multiple payloads from sprayer to camera to various sensors , delivering real time situation analysis capability.
The Johnnette JR7 can carry heavy payloads and also allows the user to easily switch multiple payloads so the user maximize efficiency & plan operations with confidence
Spray nozzles can be chosen according to the properties of each liquid to optimize atomization, energy efficiency, and the amount of liquid sprayed. The included nozzles are resistant to wear and can be used for thousands of hours without degradation.
JR7 uses a folding design that allows for installation without the use of any additional tools. Its motor arms fold inward, making the aircraft compact and easy to transport in the trunk of a car. Able to withstand harsh conditions, the JR 7’s airframe is made of light, yet durable high-strength carbon fiber.