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Agriculture Banner

Using Drones within the Agriculture Industry

This guide is for farmers and agriculture service professionals who wish to use unmanned aerial drones to as a tool to perform tasks such as monitor livestock and health of crops . This will cover the basis of Agriculture Consulting, Saturation management, Crop inspection and Fertilization. If you're looking to fly your own multi-rotor agriculture drone or you're planning on hiring a third party company, we can help with that and give you all the tips you need. If you have any questions don't hesitate to contact us



Agriculture Crop Consulting

For years now farmers have walked their fields managing and investigating crops manually for signs of stress or disease, this could take a significant number of hours dependent on how many acres their crop fields are. This time consuming traditional method can be proven difficult when crop canopies thicken. With the DJI Phantom Series, farmers can then easily evaluate their crops at scale while simultaneously creating crop maps which will help them manage crops and reduce the time it takes to investigate. The Phantom series of aircraft are highly portable and have the best flight times on the market. Equipped with a 12-megapixel camera and able to capture up to 4k Video, both of which are clear and detailed and will be essential for analysis. The Phantom is ready to fly out of the box with very little setup time required, combined with full flight stabilisation it is easy to fly and effective very quickly.

Aerial Thermal imaging has also become an important tool for crop management. It's a non-invasive way to monitor nurseries and greenhouses and even detect plant diseases. Using the DJI Inspire combined with the Zenmuse XT thermal imaging camera, developed in collaboration with FLIR, all of this important data can be easily captured.

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Agriculture Saturation Management

Fresh water is one of the most important resources to farmers. Farms around the world are constantly looking to optimize their use of water. Both too much and too little will affect productivity, meaning detailed tracking and monitoring is required. Large growers today often have many fields spread out across an entire region. These rely on multiple saturation pivots to water crops.

Once crops such as corn begin reaching certain heights, mid-season inspections of saturation equipment that delivers much-needed water can become difficult. With the DJI Inspire XT's thermal capabilities, irrigation and water pooling can be managed to a high level. Powered by FLIR's industry-leading Tau 2 thermal camera, the Inspire XT gives growers a detailed understanding of the state of their lands, giving them fundamental insights that lead into better decision making.

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Agriculture Crop Inspection

Agronomists draw from a number of different sciences to confront pressing issues, including producing food, creating healthier food, managing the environmental impact of agriculture, and extracting energy from plants. Whether they specialize in crop rotation, irrigation and drainage, plant breeding, plant physiology, soil classification, soil fertility, weed control or insect and pest control, agronomists rely on a host of plant and environmental data. Cameras in the air can carry a powerful combination of infrared sensors and visual cameras to create a view of crops that cannot be seen with the naked eye. This highlights differences between healthy and distressed plants and will allow quick action when necessary. Drones can survey a crop every week, every day or even every hour. Combining this information into a timelapse animation can highlight potential changes in the crop, revealing trouble spots or opportunities for better crop management.

The heavy lifter M600 platform can give agronomists a large payload, allowing them to deploy a wide range of third-party sensors and cameras from multi-spectral to hyperspectral and full frame. The M600 powered by the new A3 flight controller can be upgraded to the D-RTK GNSS system for better level hovering accuracy. Two additional satellite and IMU systems can be added, which then creates a total of six layers of redundancy to ensure it flies with absolute reliability at all times. DJI's SDK platform allows it to be customized to simplify inspection, from standardized flight patterns to complex fully autonomous flights and a base station that will also be used to allow control up to 5 aircraft simultaneously to make inspecting large amounts of farm land simple and like a much smaller task.

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Agriculture Fertilization

Farmers around the world will rely on a number of plant protection and fertilization methods to maintain crop health levels and yields. For years, farmers have manually sprayed the fields which is time consuming and very intensive labor or even hired crop dusters to spray fields too large for manual labor. The DJI MG-1 is an agricultural octocopter designed to increase efficiency and manageability in plant protection and fertilization.

One single Agras MG-1 can carry 10kg of fluid and cover 10 acres (4 hectares) in a single flight. This is 60 times faster than manual spraying. Industry standard ceramic nozzles come pre-installed and can be swapped out if necessary for different spray requirements. In addition to dust and corrosion proofing, the Agras MG-1 is water-resistant so at the end of a spray it can be rinsed clean. Using the Agras MG-1, modern farms have a new tool for spraying that saves on labor while maximizing coverage.

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