One of the most dreaded challenges recently faced by the agriculture sector is the annual locust infestation which looms over African and South-Asian countries. At this juncture, drone technology turns out to be the most efficacious solution to the unwieldy situation.
United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)
Warns of the extremely alarming and unforeseen threat across the affected areas. According to the organization, a swarm of 40 million desert locusts can consume the food of around 35,000 people in a day. These swarms vary in size, being as large as several 100 sq. kilometers and an sq. kilometer can have as many as eighty million adults.
Drones help farmers to treat locusts or any other pest infestations, starting off with surveying and mapping the infested fields before sunset. Then the drones are deployed for precision crop spraying after sunset when the swarms are inactive. The implementation of earmarked night spraying complements the aerial control and ground measures at present. Agricultural drones offer a top-notch way to tackle the voracious locust swarms and prevent food crops from getting damaged.
On the other hand, the hard-hitting mouse plague in Australia is another area of crisis where drones are being deployed to the rescue. A farmer in Queensland has acquired the approval for flying drones and dropping poisoned baits in New South Wales to tackle the deteriorating situation.
Also, drones are much more economical and effective than manual spraying mechanisms and can carry out ultra-low-violet (ULV) precision spraying of biological pesticides or chemicals, especially in inaccessible areas.
Companies like Wynyard Group offering Autonomous solutions, Equinox Drones, Ibex Automation, etc., provide state-of-the-art unarmed autonomous systems (UAS) including Aerial Surveying and multi-operational drones accoutered with new-age sensors. The smart technology procures high-resolution crop data and facilitates multiple operations for the prevention of any potential damage to the crops and thereby ensuring food security across various countries.
Offers a wide range of autonomous solutions with different payloads, maximized hovering capacity, and 3D radar mapping, utilized to yield success for managing the crop-consuming pest army.
The usage of UAVs with Infrared cameras helps the operator to monitor the swarm behavior while seeing through the area with the bird’s-eye view. This reduces the personnel count needed to repress the outbreak by surveying the predetermined path and uniformly spraying over the target locust infestation.
Moving ahead in the future, it looks like agricultural monitoring and operations via UAS would perhaps involve swarms or fleets of autonomous as well as hybrid aerial ground drones which procure data and deliver multiple solutions to enhance productivity in all corners of the sector.