Throughout history, farmers have greatly benefitted from different advances in technology. Thanks to modern chemistry, crop sciences, and engineering, farmers can now produce bigger yields compared to back when these technologies weren’t around. Today, advances in robotics and digital imaging have found their way into the farming industry courtesy of aerial imaging.
Aerial imaging is a surveillance technique that uses aerial devices or vehicles to take photos of an area. Larger farms usually require images taken from planes which can cover a large area in just a short amount of time, but smaller crop fields can be surveyed using remote-controlled drones. Depending on the type of camera used to capture the image of a field, it’s possible to identify different factors that can affect the farm’s productivity.
Aerial photography and the information it provides can be a huge help to farms of all sizes. Here are just a few examples of how aerial imaging benefits today’s farms:
1. Faster Response to Problems
Some of the common problems that can affect the productivity of the farm include lack of proper hydration, inefficient use of fertilizer, and pest damage. All three can be effectively addressed if the problems are detected as early as possible. While finding problem areas in a field can be difficult from a ground-level perspective, aerial imaging can reveal the same areas quickly and easily, allowing farmers to take the necessary precautions to deal with the issue.
2. Better Damage Control
In cases where it is already too late to prevent a problem from causing major damage, aerial imaging can provide information that will be essential in keeping the damage from spreading further. Unlike traditional monitoring methods, aerial imaging can provide immediate results, while the information derived from the images can be processed faster using specialized software. This is especially important for farms vulnerable to pest invasions or plant disease outbreaks, where lack of quick information can easily lead to the loss of entire fields.
3. Minimized Overheads
The cost of running a farm can easily cut into a farmer’s profits, so anything that can be done to minimize expenses is a huge help. Using the information obtained through aerial imaging, it’s possible for farmers to make changes to optimize their operation. For example, results from aerial imaging can indicate that fertilizer is not properly distributed across the field. This can prompt farmers to switch to a more efficient distribution system that will make sure every plant is getting the right amount of nutrients.
4. More Effective Land Management
With aerial imaging, it’s possible to monitor which parts of the farm are ideal for certain kinds of crops, which is especially crucial for farms in areas that experience a varied climate or those that employ techniques such as crop rotation. The same information can be used in mapping out irrigation systems that will allow farms to expand or switch to more water-intensive crops. Changes can be implemented based on more solid information, minimizing the risk of having to deal with expensive revisions once the work starts.
5. Better Marketing
Images captured by planes or drones can be used to improve the image of the farm. By putting the images in brochures or on a farm’s website, it shows that the farmer is willing to adopt new technology to stay in business. The information can also be used when making a case for potential business partnerships since buyers would want to invest in a farm with more reliable data and productivity.
Farming technology has certainly come a long way from having a few hand tools and basic farming techniques. Aerial imaging is just one of the many tools that farmer should take advantage of in order to address the needs of their farms and to improve their yields.