Farmers Use Drone Technologyto Combat Pests in 2018
If you’ve started making the 2018 business plan for your operation, it’s important to look at new technology and what it can do for your farm. With technology becoming more and more a part of life, it makes sense that it would work its way onto the farm as well. Some farmers are already using new tech to do everything from reduce their pesticide use to tackling insurance claims. This week, we’ve found a couple of ideas which scientists have started testing that can help do both of those things while also reducing the amount of pests damaging your crops.
Killing Insects with Fewer Pesticides
As consumers grow more and more conscious about the foods they eat, many have concerns about the amount of pesticides used in crop cultivation. However, farmers need to utilize pesticides to a certain degree or risk losing their field to pests. In an article by the Nature.com International Journal of Science entitled “Technology: The Future of Agriculture,” author Anthony King discusses how the use of drones can be useful in identifying areas of a field which are being destroyed by pests. These aren’t just the average drone that captures photo and video, either. These would be intelligent devices which survey the land using “multispectral cameras” which could track the electromagnetic spectrum of the field. This can help landowners assess disease, pest infestations, and fungi formation which could damage their crops before they become an issue.
Assessing Wildlife Damage Quickly
Another pest problem farmers face is what to do once your field is hit. As there’s typically still work to do on parts of the field to salvage whatever crops you can, assessing the damage can be time consuming and tends to take the back burner. This means that damage to crops sometimes goes unnoticed. That can lead to unclaimed insurance dollars on behalf of the farmer. Damage caused by deer and insects as well as floods, hailstorms, or fires can all be assessed by drones which fly just above the height of your equipment so you can work while the drone collects data for you! No more trudging through flooded fields this year.
New Tech, So What?
You may be thinking, “this hasn’t been a big problem for me, so what’s the point?” You may be right, your particular farm may not be affected by pests or harsh weather yet. However, just as agricultural technology changes, so do pests. Last year, the insect Strigoderma arboricola, more commonly known as the Japanese beetle, invaded Nebraska’s farmland with a force unseen in years past. Invasive species like the beetle can do serious damage to crop yield because they have fewer natural predators to control their populations so they can reproduce more quickly. When unprecedented swarms descend onto a field, farmers can lose hundreds and even thousands of dollars in income.
How has new technology been useful on your farm in the last few years? Let us know in the comments!