Relatively cheap drones with advanced sensors and imaging capabilities are giving farmers new ways to increase crop yields and reduce crop damage. Drone sensor technology is being used for an array of applications but sensor technology in farming and agriculture may prove to be a huge tool for combating hunger across the globe.
In Sonoma Valley north of San Francisco some farmers are using drones and sensor technology in order to better and more efficiently produce wine vineyards. A few ways these drone sensors are helping farmers are through infrared image capturing, accelerometers, gyros, magnetometers, and pressure sensors. These different sensors are giving farmers an aerial advantage to see things like soil nutrient levels, irrigation problems or bald patches in farms that they normally would not be able to see without manually walking their entire farm. Drones are also much more efficient to operate on a day to day basis giving farmers a more economical way to frequently monitor their crops as opposed to hiring a helicopter or a crop plane. Sensor technologies like these can be used in not only wine vineyards but also in a variety of other agricultural crops to help increase crop yields and ultimately decrease hunger where ever the technology is available.
Agricultural drones are becoming a tool like any other consumer device, and their uses are rapidly growing. Ryan Kunde, owner of a wine vineyard in Sonoma Valley wants to irrigate less, use less pesticide, and ultimately produce better wine by using the sensor technology from drones. More accurate and better data can reduce water use and lower the chemical load in our environment and our food, which will translate into more water for drinking as well as less chemicals in our bodies from the food we eat. The more farmers who begin to utilize this technology will help to revolutionize the way farming is done and hopefully increase food levels for everyone in need.
Girion, J., and S. Rega. 2014. “The Drone Revolution Is Coming To America’s 2 Million Farms.” Web. 29 March 2016. Business Insider. <http://www.businessinsider.com/drones-will-revolutionize-farming-2014-9>