Farm drones expected to take off

2015-09-08

Farm drones expected to take off
Every week, an agronomist walks a portion of the 600 acres of crops at the Sunrise Acres dairy to gather information used to fight pests, weeds and other maladies that could threaten the harvest.

It’s a labor-intensive process repeated at farms throughout Wisconsin, and it’s one farmers say could soon become vastly more efficient thanks to drone technology.

Farmers, including Sunrise Acres co-owner Dan Mullikin, say that in the coming years, drones equipped with cameras and other sensors could become a standard tool for surveying crops, among a host of other agricultural uses.

“Right now, they (agronomists) literally walk the fields. With something like this, you could fly over the fields, take pictures, take it back to the office and analyze it,” said Mullikin, a second-generation dairy farmer who tends to about 180 milk cows at his dairy. “It’s a way to catch problems sooner.”

Mullikan’s farm hosted a University of Wisconsin-Extension Sheboygan County meeting on agriculture drones in late August that attracted 70 people wanting to learn more about the technology.

Interest has been building among farmers since last year, when the Federal Aviation Administration started permitting businesses to fly drones commercially on a case-by-case basis.
she b Agriculture and Drones.

80 percent of drone use

The Federal Aviation Administration has now approved more than 50 exemptions for farm-related operations since January, and the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International, a trade group, estimates that agriculture could eventually account for 80 percent of all commercial drone use.

While drones have yet to be put into use at farms in Sheboygan and Manitowoc counties, local agriculture experts expect the technology to become commonplace at larger acreage farms over the next decade.

“Interest among farmers is very high,” said Mike Ballweg, an agricultural agent for the UW-Extension. “I think it’s a technology that as it’s refined, it’s going to pay off.”

Ballweg said that relative to other industries, agriculture is an easy fit for drones, as most farms are in sparsely populated areas, which presents fewer privacy concerns with neighbors.

Meanwhile, the technology appears to be a clear money saver on the farm, as it would allow farmers and crop consultants to quickly diagnose and respond to a host of issues affecting crop production, such as drainage problems, pests, plant diseases, soil compaction and erosion.

The small, relatively inexpensive vehicles could eventually be used to transmit detailed information about crops to combines and sprayers, directing them to problem spots and cutting down on the amount of water and chemicals a farmer needs to use in those areas.

“Imagine walking a 100-acre field and trying to cover all of it,” said Zach Fiene, co-owner of DMZ Aerial in Prairie du Sac. “If you can get up in the air 200 feet, you can see the entire field, and it takes you 2 seconds. And, you can see where the problems are, and you can walk right to them.”

Farmers are primary customers

DMZ Aerial offers commercial drone systems, including software, specifically outfitted for farmers, ranging in price from $3,500 to $5,000.

Fiene, who presented during the UW-Extension event at Mullikan’s farm last month, said the company’s products are now in use in 15 states, and agronomists — who assist farmers in caring for crops and soil — are their primary customers.

Steve Hoffman, managing agronomist at In-Depth Agronomy, which provides consulting services to farmers in Manitowoc and Sheboygan counties, projects that his firm will begin using drones within the next year.

The company utilizes high-resolution photos taken by airplane in its day-to-day operations, but drones would provide instant results, albeit at lower resolutions.

“The difference with a (drone) is you could get imagery quicker, like in that same day,” Hoffman said. “It will allow for quick decision making on things.”

Receiving an FAA exemption takes between 60 to 180 days, and it’s good for two years.

Meanwhile, the FAA is now working on rules that would allow the drones to be used regularly for business while maintaining certain safety and privacy standards. An FAA proposal would allow flight of the vehicles as long as they weigh less than 55 pounds, stay within the operator’s sight and fly during the daytime, among other restrictions.

Operators would have to pass an FAA test of aeronautical knowledge and a Transportation Security Administration background check.

As the FAA drops more restrictions on the commercial use of drones, Fiene expects the technology to proliferate.

At Surnise Acres, Mullikin figures the technology will eventually become necessary to stay competitive.

“Farms are growing in size and acreage, but we’re thin on labor,” he said.
Every week, an agronomist walks a portion of the 600 acres of crops at the Sunrise Acres dairy to gather information used to fight pests, weeds and other maladies that could threaten the harvest.

It’s a labor-intensive process repeated at farms throughout Wisconsin, and it’s one farmers say could soon become vastly more efficient thanks to drone technology.

Farmers, including Sunrise Acres co-owner Dan Mullikin, say that in the coming years, drones equipped with cameras and other sensors could become a standard tool for surveying crops, among a host of other agricultural uses.

“Right now, they (agronomists) literally walk the fields. With something like this, you could fly over the fields, take pictures, take it back to the office and analyze it,” said Mullikin, a second-generation dairy farmer who tends to about 180 milk cows at his dairy. “It’s a way to catch problems sooner.”

Mullikan’s farm hosted a University of Wisconsin-Extension Sheboygan County meeting on agriculture drones in late August that attracted 70 people wanting to learn more about the technology.

Interest has been building among farmers since last year, when the Federal Aviation Administration started permitting businesses to fly drones commercially on a case-by-case basis.
she b Agriculture and Drones.

80 percent of drone use

The Federal Aviation Administration has now approved more than 50 exemptions for farm-related operations since January, and the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International, a trade group, estimates that agriculture could eventually account for 80 percent of all commercial drone use.

While drones have yet to be put into use at farms in Sheboygan and Manitowoc counties, local agriculture experts expect the technology to become commonplace at larger acreage farms over the next decade.

“Interest among farmers is very high,” said Mike Ballweg, an agricultural agent for the UW-Extension. “I think it’s a technology that as it’s refined, it’s going to pay off.”

Ballweg said that relative to other industries, agriculture is an easy fit for drones, as most farms are in sparsely populated areas, which presents fewer privacy concerns with neighbors.

Meanwhile, the technology appears to be a clear money saver on the farm, as it would allow farmers and crop consultants to quickly diagnose and respond to a host of issues affecting crop production, such as drainage problems, pests, plant diseases, soil compaction and erosion.

The small, relatively inexpensive vehicles could eventually be used to transmit detailed information about crops to combines and sprayers, directing them to problem spots and cutting down on the amount of water and chemicals a farmer needs to use in those areas.

“Imagine walking a 100-acre field and trying to cover all of it,” said Zach Fiene, co-owner of DMZ Aerial in Prairie du Sac. “If you can get up in the air 200 feet, you can see the entire field, and it takes you 2 seconds. And, you can see where the problems are, and you can walk right to them.”

Farmers are primary customers

DMZ Aerial offers commercial drone systems, including software, specifically outfitted for farmers, ranging in price from $3,500 to $5,000.

Fiene, who presented during the UW-Extension event at Mullikan’s farm last month, said the company’s products are now in use in 15 states, and agronomists — who assist farmers in caring for crops and soil — are their primary customers.

Steve Hoffman, managing agronomist at In-Depth Agronomy, which provides consulting services to farmers in Manitowoc and Sheboygan counties, projects that his firm will begin using drones within the next year.

The company utilizes high-resolution photos taken by airplane in its day-to-day operations, but drones would provide instant results, albeit at lower resolutions.

“The difference with a (drone) is you could get imagery quicker, like in that same day,” Hoffman said. “It will allow for quick decision making on things.”

Receiving an FAA exemption takes between 60 to 180 days, and it’s good for two years.

Meanwhile, the FAA is now working on rules that would allow the drones to be used regularly for business while maintaining certain safety and privacy standards. An FAA proposal would allow flight of the vehicles as long as they weigh less than 55 pounds, stay within the operator’s sight and fly during the daytime, among other restrictions.

Operators would have to pass an FAA test of aeronautical knowledge and a Transportation Security Administration background check.

As the FAA drops more restrictions on the commercial use of drones, Fiene expects the technology to proliferate.

At Surnise Acres, Mullikin figures the technology will eventually become necessary to stay competitive.

“Farms are growing in size and acreage, but we’re thin on labor,” he said.



Development of the world market of UAV during COVID-19 pandemic

2021-05-05
Development of the world market of UAV during COVID-19 pandemic

The drone market has grown steadily and continuously over the past several years. The technology is here to stay and is becoming more prevalent across numerous industries. But 2020 was a unique year due to Covid-19. Overall, respondents even felt that the changes in business models triggered by the lockdowns would actually have a positive impact on the drone industry in the long run.

Russia is withdrawing from the Open Skies Treaty.

2021-01-18
Russia is withdrawing from the Open Skies Treaty.

The Russian Foreign Ministry said that the country is beginning the procedure for withdrawing from the Treaty on Open Skies.

Exclusive video of application of the ZALA Lancet UAV at the training ground.

2020-12-26
Exclusive video of application of the ZALA Lancet UAV at the training ground.
ZALA Lancet is the first Russian-made unmanned airstrike system.

Drone application in the oil and gas sector

2020-12-23
Drone application in the oil and gas sector

Russia ranks 3rd in the World in the list of countries for oil production. The length of main pipelines in Russia is more than 250 000 km. Many pipelines often run in hard-to-reach areas of our country, which makes it difficult to monitor the condition of pipelines and increases the risk of illegal activities and violations. It is in such cases drones become an integral part of the oil and gas industry.

Results оf The International Helicopter Industry Exhibition HeliRussia 2020

2020-09-24
Results оf The International Helicopter Industry Exhibition HeliRussia 2020
HeliRussia is the only exhibition in Russia where world achievements of the entire range of products and services of the helicopter industry are presented. In 2020, the exhibition was held from September 15 to 17 at the Crocus Expo exhibition center, Moscow.

American retailer Walmart has launched the delivery of food and necessities using Flytrex drones.

2020-09-14
American retailer Walmart has launched the delivery of food and necessities using Flytrex drones.
On September 9, American retailer Walmart performed a pilot launch of food delivery using unmanned aircraft in Fayetteville, North Carolina.

SenseFly drones help monitor Lake Winnipeg ice hazards in Switzerland.

2020-09-12
SenseFly drones help monitor Lake Winnipeg ice hazards in Switzerland.

The project, which is part of the Canadian Space Agency's Earth observation applications development program (EODAP), was aimed at identifying and monitoring lake ice levels, as well as detecting cracks and pressure ridges to raise awareness among local communities and first responders about the risks of moving lake ice.

Development of unmanned aircraft on Military-Technical Forum "ARMY-2020"

2020-09-03
Development of unmanned aircraft on Military-Technical Forum "ARMY-2020"
On August 29, Military-Technical Forum "Army-2020" ended, although only a few months ago this event was under the big question due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Fortunately, the Forum was held and the results were impressive. Mostly participants and visitors of the forum were impressed by the display of domestic unmanned aerial vehicles.

The Pros and Cons of Drone Delivery

2020-04-30
The Pros and Cons of Drone Delivery
The idea of commercial delivery drones is more relevant now than ever as social distancing guidelines have made contactless delivery an essential part of company operations. ‘

The first drone delivery was a tasty one: Dominos delivered two pizzas to a residence in New Zealand in 2016. Since then, companies have been racing towards liftoff.



Medical Drone Delivery Success in Ireland

2020-04-06
Medical Drone Delivery Success in Ireland
In September, it was reported on the world’s first BVLOS medical delivery in Ireland.

Researchers at NUI Galway partnered with German drone startup Wingcopter to transport prescription medication and blood samples for diabetes patients.

This week, the research team released more details about the project in an ENDO 2020 abstract to be published in the Journal of the Endocrine Society.



Pages: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Next

Back to the list