The use of drones in agriculture

drones en la agricultura

The agriculture and livestock sector has no choice but to embark on cutting-edge technology to achieve greater control of their fields, find possible pests, increase their yields and improve the final product. The dron is imposing, and the sector that concerns us, the olive grove, needs it to achieve excellent extra virgin olive oils.

Competing with the best olive oils in the world requires meticulous and constant work. The drone is another tool that we must include in olive groves to optimize and give our olive trees everything they need.

You may also be interested. Olive tree care: Irrigation

Greater control of agriculture and livestock

There is an increasing need for greater control of agriculture in an era of climate change on our planet Earth, where climatic conditions are increasingly unstable and with the rapid spread of diseases and pests by monocultures. All of this makes agriculture more susceptible, its maintenance costs are constantly rising and the price of the product is always going down.

In agriculture, time and momentum is essential, and more fundamental in the control of pests, as a delay in its eradication can cause enormous and global problems, as is emerging in olive groves with xilella fastidiosa, which has already arrived in Spain and will affect the rise in olive oil prices.

However, the use of drones in agriculture and livestock farming opens a new window for greater efficiency in terms of costs and time, in which the olive grove and olive oil sector can also benefit.

The drone may still be quite unknown today, but in Australia its sales have quadrupled since 2012, and this will come to prevail also in Europe and Spain.

The drone was created for military use, but like other inventions created for military use, the drone has also found a market in the agriculture and livestock sector, bringing numerous advantages to the farmer.

Advantages of the drone

This allows to observe the exploitation from the air, obtaining a better perspective of the harvest and giving the possibility of detecting with greater facility incidences or anomalies in the fields of culture, such as problems of irrigation, infestations of plagues and fungi that cannot be seen with facility from the land.

In addition, the drone’s observation does not have to be only in the visible spectrum range, as any human eye would, but it can use other spectra such as reflected infrared or thermal infrared, allowing a more precise knowledge of the crop’s state.

Also, the dron allows us to collect data every day or even several times in a day, allowing us to analyze with great precision the evolution of the crop field, the soil and agricultural practices that are analyzed in it.

The drones for agriculture are equipped with advanced sensors and cameras of great capacity, reason why they allow to detect early signs of illness that are difficult to detect with the simple sight. The most sophisticated can be programmed to take a pre-designed flight route without having to be piloted by remote control, making its use more precise and comfortable. Another way to get the same information would be with a small helicopter or light aircraft, but at much higher costs.

Drones in agriculture

Agricultural drones often fly with the autopilot, using GPS signals to orient themselves in the air and are equipped with infrared wave cameras. These cameras take images guided by light waves that bounce off plants. In addition, these light waves reflected by the plant give us information about their health.

All this is a new trend in the world of international agriculture, increasingly introducing precision agriculture in agricultural fields in order to minimize losses and maximize profits.

Numerous tests have been carried out on the use of drones in agriculture in olive fields, showing all great benefits for the farmer and especially for the olive fields and therefore for the olive oil sector.

The ImaPing Research Group and researchers from the Institute for Sustainable Agriculture of Cordoba of the Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas, revealed a few days ago that they could use drones to record detailed information on the size and development of each tree in an olive tree crop, as well as to gather information on the geospatial relationship of olive trees, the properties of their soil in the area and the presence of herbs from that crop.

The farmer is generally very conservative and reluctant to novelties but will end up using this technology. The new technologies are expensive at first, because their production is small, but when economies of scale are introduced and their costs are perfected, they fall rapidly, so it will become cheaper and easier to use, that is, it will end up imposing itself on agriculture and the olive oil sector.

Video on drones:


Periódico especializado en aceite de oliva @Olive Oil Times”:

Artículo científico de la Universidad de Valencia:

Periódico generalista español “El País”:

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