What are the benefits of agricultural drones

What do you need drones for in agriculture?

In this way, it can be determined, among other things, whether the plants are under stress - for example because they have too little fertilizer or suffer from a lack of water. Even plant diseases or weeds can be recognized and localized in this way. The modern aircraft also provide information about when the grain is ripe. After a field has been flown over with a drone, the determined data is transferred to the PC and offset in digital maps.

Such maps then later enable a very precise treatment of the plant population. This means that fertilizers, water and pesticides are only applied where they are really needed. And only in the quantities in which they are needed.

Help with crop protection

Drones are also used for plant protection measures. For example for the spreading of beneficial insects: Today, numerous farms fly over their maize fields in order to drop capsules with eggs of the Trichogramma parasitic wasp at regular intervals. These wasps are natural opponents of a dreaded maize pest. The application of the beneficial insects only takes about four minutes per hectare with the drone. In the past, the beneficial insects were brought out by hand, which took around five times the time.

Even the application of liquid pesticides can now be done with drones. Modern devices are able to transport up to 16 liters of spray. Such use is particularly useful in rough terrain where it is difficult to get there with tractors or on foot - for example on steep vineyards. In Japan, this form of application with drones in rice cultivation is already widespread. In Germany, for purely legal reasons, drones are not yet allowed to be used to apply pesticides.

Agriculture becomes more efficient with drones ...

First and foremost, drones help farmers to do their work more efficiently. Because by precisely determining the condition of crops, plant diseases or weeds in the field, fertilizers, pesticides and water can be saved. In addition, a lot of work that was previously done by hand or with a tractor can be done in a much shorter time with a drone. All of this saves time and money.

... and more sustainable

But nature also benefits from the use of drones. Because more needs-based application means that fewer fertilizers and pesticides get into the environment. The light aircraft also ensure that fewer tractors and other equipment have to be driven.

On the one hand, this means that less fuel is consumed and exhaust gas is emitted. On the other hand, the arable soils are also used less and therefore not compact as much. This is good for soil life and plant growth.