Farming News - 2018 "The year of the Drone" will change agriculture forever

2018 "The year of the Drone" will change agriculture forever

01 Mar 2018

Image result for small robot company pictures

New Drone Standards are to be unveiled for the first time in Spring 2018 which are expected to lead to strengthened public confidence in safety, security and compliance within an industry which is set to be one of the fastest growth sectors in the world.

The announcement was made at an event at the House of Lords last night sponsored by Field Marshal The Lord Guthrie of Craigiebank GCB, LVO, OBE, DL on behalf of the British Standards Institution (BSI) and Drone Major Group, whose founder and Chief Executive is Chairman of the BSI Committee responsible for Drone Standards.

Sir David Brown commented “BSI is playing a pivotal role in supporting the exciting global future for drones through its work on standards for Unmanned Aircraft Systems.  Standards accelerate innovation, boost productivity and enable trade, while promoting safety and consumer protection.”

Robert Garbett, in his role as Chairman of the BSI Committee on Drone Standards, stated in a speech that “after several years of work and global collaboration, detailed draft standards are expected to reach BSI Committee stage by Spring 2018, following which there will be a period of wider consultation, expected then to lead to adoption shortly thereafter.”

He commented “The development and adoption of the first quality and safety standards for the drone industry will make 2018 a pivotal year for an industry which is set to become a global phenomenon. It is the year when British and world standards will be crystallised, energising the industry, and enabling it to meet its full potential to the benefit of UK plc, and indeed economies worldwide”.

“In agriculture, drones will use advanced scanning technology to detect crop disease before it is visible to the human eye and assist in the intelligent use of pesticides, thus dramatically reducing our exposure to them and increasing crop yields.

“The industry need governments worldwide to stand firmly behind the drone industry to ensure that it is not choked by over regulation… thankfully something the UK Government has indicated it is keen to avoid… and to work together to find effective ways to promote responsible use, without stifling a great new sector which has the potential to make such an important contribution to the wellbeing of people and businesses throughout the world.”

“The potential for the drone industry worldwide is huge, and particularly for the UK economy where the combination of our intellectual capital – our technology, engineering, innovation, governance, and above all, our development and support of high standards – is world class.”

Drones in Agriculture

Drones can be instrumental at the start of the crop cycle. They produce precise 3-D maps for early soil analysis, useful in planning seed planting patterns. Increased efficiency will mean a reduction of in the amount of chemicals penetrating into groundwater. Experts estimate that aerial spraying can be completed up to five times faster with drones than with traditional machinery.

Drones can identify which parts of a field are dry or need improvements. Additionally, once the crop is growing, drones allow the calculation of the vegetation index, which describes the relative density and health of the crop, and show the heat signature, the amount of energy or heat the crop emits. As soon as a disease is discovered, farmers can apply and monitor remedies more precisely.