Recent reports project that the agricultural drone market will exceed $1 billion by 2024. Increased use of drone technology to perform standard farming tasks, such as spraying crops with pesticides and fertilizer, is driving much of this growth. And the prospect for using drones for aerial mapping of growing areas and other cost-saving, productivity-enhancing tasks is pushing agriculture professionals toward new technologies. The agriculture industry is on its way to fully embracing UAVs—and looking for new and better ways to adapt the technology to farming. Our Forestry & Precision Agriculture session explores the difference the technology can make for growers and stakeholders of all types. Session moderated by Adam Gittins, HTS Ag.
How a Drone Can be a Difference Maker on a Farm
Nutrient management and water drainage are two key areas where drones can make an impact on the farm and sensors are able to gather and display data that can impact decisions instantaneously. However, data isn’t enough. Similarly, drones also perform certain physical tasks like spraying and seed planting, but such capabilities need to be considered in terms of what established task they’d be replacing or augmenting. Growers need to understand and define a specific approach to creating value and ROI with drone technology which is why this session will focus on:
· The options and opportunities with spraying technology
· What it can mean to combine historic and weather data from satellites with drones/remote sensing, GIS
· How drones are being used for counting trees, livestock and assessing perimeter conditions
· Crop specificity and scale
· Regulatory considerations
Adam Gittins, HTS Ag
Update on Agricultural Applications of UAS Technology
Drone technology has improved rapidly over the last decade, however, it has only been in the last few years that we have seen advancements in software, sensors, and batteries catch up. There is much less emphasis on the drone itself these days as the process; the system that is employed to gather, ingest, and analyze the data, and the value that it provides. This session will discuss from where the industry emerged, where it has arrived, and where it is heading in the next 2-5 years where it comes to advanced applications of UAS in precision agriculture.
Matthew Johnson, Volatus Aerospace
How Drones can help stop Man-made and natural Forest Fires?
Problem at hand: In the northern regions of India, forest fires are a common occurrence. These fires if contained within 15 mins can be stopped. Additionally, some miscreants are using this to their advantage and are smuggling the trees damaged as a part of the fire, illegally and in some cases, they also cause the fire so that they can keep using this as an opportunity to smuggle the trees illegally.
· How consistent drone monitoring can prevent forest fires
· How drones help conserve the forest through illegal felling of trees
· Drones for conservation of forest and wildlife.
Ankit Mehta, ideaForge Technology
What is Now Needed to Progress the Use of Drones on Farms?
Fiona Lake will provide an overview of the current ag drone situation in Australia; which has a lot in common with the US and other highly merchanised countries. Fiona will give an update on where thermal and spray drone use is up to plus new agtech that is finally gaining momentum such as broadacre ground robots and businesses such as farm mapping services. She will also explain a number of things that are lacking but needed – eg relatively simple measures to enable farmers to fly BVLOS safely and legally above their own properties, independent agronomists prepared to map spot treatments and people with genuine local and farming knowledge so they can provide quality ag drone services.
Fiona Lake, Rural Drone Academy
Focus on the Future- The Importance of Integrating UAS Technology into Sustainable Agricultural Practices
Science based practices hold an important place in the agroecosystem. The United Nations Sustainable Developmental goals list Zero- Hunger as Goal number 2. Now more than ever, sustainable agriculture and the use of technology play a critical role in our future.
What does sustainable agriculture looks like on the farm both from an environmental and social standpoint? We will cover the 8 main goals we strive to attain when running an environmentally responsible farm. How has the integration of UAS, automation and emerging technologies assisted in providing cost effective and scalable solutions. Drones are showing us endless uses as we make great efforts to minimize environmental damage while maximizing efficiency. The use of unmanned & autonomous technology have and will continue to aid in the protection, healing and regeneration of our planet. We will touch on some clever & forward facing use cases that are currently being integrated to provide responsible, communal & economically viable solutions.
Toni Drummond, Global Aerial Management
Attendees will come away from this session with an understanding of how drones could fit into the economic model they’re using and what their options are when it comes to the many new tech offerings that are available to them.