FARMING & AGRICULTURE MONITORING

DRONES IN AGRICULTURE

Livestock control is the method by which the health and position of livestock on farmland is monitored. Various methods are used, depending on the size of the stock, but each method should provide the opportunity to obtain information regarding the condition and position of the livestock.

Tracking, inspecting, and monitoring livestock across a large agricultural area poses challenges, mainly relating to time and efficiency. It is common for farmers to use GPS to track their stock, but they are still required to physically go to the animal to inspect it, so this method isn’t as efficient as it could be.

Agricultural drones provide one of the most efficient ways for farmers to monitor their livestock; but...

What are agricultural drones?

Agricultural drones are used by farmers to obtain an aerial overview of the area in which they keep their livestock. Thermal imaging and high definition cameras allow farmers to track and monitor their livestock remotely, identifying any issues in real time, thus enabling them to resolve issues quickly and efficiently.

The Benefits of Agricultural Drones

  • Farm drones are able to cover larger areas, allowing for quick and efficient monitoring of livestock
  • They provide visual information and GPS tracking to assist farmers in livestock inspection
  • Their low noise footprint does not scare the animals
  • Drones don’t produce pollutants in situ, making them better for the environment
  • Farming drones can be equipped with different types of cameras, including night vision, thermal imaging, and motion sensors
  • Using drones in agriculture helps to lower stock control costs and time
  • UAVs can gather and process data, identifying patterns and trends amongst livestock
  • The job of auditing livestock can be made easier using data tags and fluorescent spray paint which can be tracked by the drones

How do Agricultural Drones Work?

Agricultural drone platforms can be customised to suit a variety of needs, so it is advisable for farmers to have several drones for different purposes. Drones work by way of several propellers which lift them into the air, with the height, speed, and direction being controlled by an operative on the ground via remote control.

Drones can be employed to monitor livestock, assess crop health, assess drought conditions, and even to apply pesticides. The key is to have the right drone accessories for the job that you intend to carry out. For example, a high definition camera will provide clear, concise footage, whilst thermal imaging software will allow you to pick up areas of heat across your crops and livestock.

Farmers typically require UAVs to be pre-programmed for flight, using the ground station software to demand that the flight path is contained within their flying height and property line, creating a restricted box around the property. When operating in this way, each cattle check can then be part of a routine consisting of auto-launching the system for flight, and also monitoring the live video feed on screen. Since all video is recorded by the system's ground station software, there is no real need to worry when cattle pass the point of view quickly.