Can Drones Spray Crops?

Unmanned aerial vehicles, or drones, are an innovative tool for farmers. These devices are used in agriculture to manage plant growth.

Drones can spray crops. Using a spray drone to maintain your crops gives you the benefit of convenience, a greater yield, and more economic farming practices. With drones, it’s easier to treat crops that are difficult to reach.

This article will discuss the advantages of having a spray drone as a farm device. Moreover, we will go over the disadvantages of this device. Also, we’ll explain how small farmers can benefit from their usage regardless of their downsides. 

How Does It Work?

Spraying drones are intelligent tools with sprinklers that cover large areas of farmland in short amounts of time. Modern drone sprayers have a remote control with a camera that allows you to efficiently navigate the drone as it flies over your fields and control the sprinkler.

Drones have a tank, pump, and nozzle regarding a power supply, batteries, gasoline, or both fuel their functions. 

Usually, farm drones have a tank capacity of ten liters or more. They can release one liter of pesticide per minute during their flight. 

Ground stations control agricultural drones. The user tells the drone when to release the pesticide. The downward airflow of the propellers distributes it over the crops. Additionally, the farmer has full direction over the drone’s mist allowing for precision farming.

What Are the Benefits of Using Drones in Agriculture?

Agriculture drones have many benefits in the farming industry, including:

  • Operating as a tool to gather information on your crops
  • Improving the yield
  • Effectively managing the farmland
  • Large-scale crop monitoring

We will explain these perks in detail:

Spraying Drones Can Be Used To Gather Information on the Condition of Your Crops

The most common use for farming drones is gathering details on the soil and plant life. The latest drones have a camera that can snap photos of your yield. These images help you to do several things:

  • Monitor when crops are infected
  • Identify pest attacks
  • Log the growth of your harvest
  • Keep track of your irrigation system

As an additional benefit, drones can collect knowledge on livestock and your farm’s physical condition.

This data can offer accurate readings for gardening information like:

  • Soil quality
  • Nutrient measurements
  • The effects of weather conditions
  • Growth patterns 

Farming Drones Increase Crop Yields

Spraying drones improve the yield of your farm batch by 5%. 

With these drones, farmers can participate in precision farming. This farm management method observes the farmland data to help you tailor your gardening style for better results. Doing this improves efficiency and increases production.

An increase in product boosts the farmer’s chance of raising profits.

Drones Help Manage the Farm for Healthier Plants

If you want to raise a large number of crops while keeping them robust and healthy, drones can make this possible. Improving the yield and health of your crops requires a great deal of fertilizer applied consistently.

In contrast to manual spraying, the drone allows you to cover large landmasses in a matter of minutes. This feature is an improved management system that can ease the manual labor involved with farming.

Large-Scale Crop Monitoring Is Less Complicated When Using Drones

Seeing that drones typically have a camera allows you to see a wide range of your farm during their flight. If you’re growing on a large plot, you have visual access to the distant farm areas without traveling to them.

Are Spraying Drones Really Effective?

Drone spraying is considered the most fruitful and safe way to treat crops. A study reviewing the effectiveness of drone usage confirms that:

  • Spraying drones reduce production loss by approximately 10-15%
  • The application of drones enhances the quality of certain crops
  • Agricultural drones decrease chemical exposure
  • Drone spraying reduces chemical usage by 40%.

Also, spraying drones are very effective in improving your farm management. With this enhanced skill, there are fewer financial resources spent on pesticides and other treatments. Therefore, their use is constructive for saving money. 

What Are the Disadvantages?

Although drones have a host of benefits for farmers, they also come with several disadvantages. Some of these downsides are:

Agriculture Drones Are Costly

On average, drones are over $10,000. Moreover, models with advanced farming features can cost up to $30,000. Also, note that drone accessories and modifiers are hundreds, and sometimes thousands, of dollars.

In most cases, after buying a spraying drone, farmers must spend even more on features like internet connection and unique controllers. 

Despite drones being very profitable, the initial investment to own them is their most significant disadvantage. Not to mention that you must maintain them over the years for maximum efficiency and long-term usage.

Spraying Drones Have Strict Legal Restrictions

Every state has its specific regulations. Generally, the Federal Aviation Administration has these rules for operating farm drones:

  • The administration must approve drones that are more than 0.5 lbs. (0.25 kg).
  • Spraying drones must travel at a height less than 393 ft. (120 m.) from the ground.
  • Flying drones are permitted to drift at a speed of 160 km/h (44 m/s) or less.
  • Farmers should avoid flying drones over strangers.
  • Drone sprayers cannot operate under a covered structure.
  • Gardeners must never employ drones outside of their range of sight.

This article dives more into that.

There Is Limited Information Available on How To Use Drones Properly

Understanding the features and functions of a drone takes time and effort. Sometimes the user manual is hard to understand or does not provide sufficient information. 

In addition to this, spraying drones are recent inventions. There is not much troubleshooting information available for when the device experiences a problem. Farmers have to dedicate precious hours to become familiar with their drones to get the most out of them.

Farmers Must Own a License To Purchase and Use Spray Drones

Before being able to buy an agricultural drone, gardeners must sit exams. Only if they are successful, they become eligible customers for this innovative farming gadget. 

After obtaining the drone, a spotter must be present at every spraying session to ensure the farmer complies with the administration’s standards.

Drones Are Hazardous When Used Improperly

When flown too low, drones can interfere with social events and potentially harm strangers. If flown too high, the risk of running into birds and planes increases dramatically.

For this reason, when using a drone, stick to the Federal Aviation Administration’s standards.

How Can Drones Help Little Farmers?

For small farmers, investing in a spray drone can reap significant benefits, including:

  • Monitoring water supply. Images from the drone expose the natural drainage of the land. Farmers can also use these photos to identify fry spots and failures in their irrigation systems.
  • Weed management. Drones allow for thorough chemical treatment of problematic sites in your field.
  • Pest control. Having a bird’s-eye view of your farmland provides information on bug attacks helping you address them sooner.
  • Managing crop health. Farmers can program their spraying drones to tend to your crops in set intervals automatically.

Final Thoughts

While it may be true that spray drones are complicated, we recommend them to every farmer looking to have a major reduction in personal labor. A spray drone is a fantastic assistant and will be very profitable in the end.

Suppose you’re considering investing in a drone. In that case, Aerial Influence has a buyer’s guide that will help you choose the ideal drone for your farm:

It’s best to confirm your state’s laws for spraying drones before making your purchase.

Anat Goldberg

Hi! My name is Anat and I have lived all my life in the countryside. I grew on a farm in Northern Italy and from an early age, I took care of the animals on the farm and the family garden. Over the years I have developed a growing passion for organic cultivation and pest control.

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