Technology has come a long way. We now have satellite and drone views of open acers of land.
For one person in particular, a procurement manager, managing 83 farms LLC located in Bell, Florida, Watson manages 13,000 acers by walking or driving. This procedure takes hours and is very time consuming.
In comes modern technology, the farms got a new addition to the team, a drone.
The drone has allowed Watson to check on 13,000 acres of land in less time then what it took before.
As state legislation slowly shifts to allow the implementation of drones in Florida’s agriculture, farmers are beginning to turn to the new technology to cut costs and reduce time-draining tasks like checking on crops acre by acre.
As State legislation introduces drones to the farmers in Florida, more and more farmers are realizing drones are the way to cutting back time and cost.
Technology has come down in price with the new advances in the field. This branches out to the field of agriculture. Florida’s agriculture movement is really taking a firm grasp of the benefits of modern technology.Statute 934.50, passed in Florida limiting the use of drones for law enforcement. Commercial and agriculture drone use taking a different route.
In 2017 a Florida local drone company, Altavian’s Thomas Rambo Chief operating officer said the Federal Aviation Administration will approve of all commercial use of drones by 2017.
A report made by the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International in 2015 estimated the impact on drones in Florida, predicting that Florida would see a $600 million dollar flux and would create somewhere around 3,000 jobs in two years of drone use.
“The majority of them are in agriculture, so agriculture will be the biggest market for UAVs,” said Reza Ehsani, University of Florida assistant professor in the Department of Agriculture and Biological Engineering.
This technology has unlocked a whole new door, The ability to find diseases, null nutriment and other factors that put stress on the plants.
Ehsani said “drones have both passive and active application in terms of agriculture. For example, a passive task for drones would be to survey and map lands to identify problems, manage growth or estimate yield, he said. Active tasks include spraying chemicals on a very specific area or even chasing away unwelcome birds.” He said “these jobs are made easier, not to mention cheaper, with the reduced costs and eventual legality of the drones.” Rambo said “The new drones would benefit small local farms tremendously”
“Some of our early analysis says that smaller farms actually would benefit more from this type of technology,” he said. “High value crops like blueberries, tomatoes and strawberries can really benefit from either prescription mapping or decreased yields with unmanned air vehicle technology.”
Watson, procurement manager agrees with this implementation into drones, he said he “plans to use to survey corn crops that may have been damaged by wild hogs”. “It’s hard to tell from the ground, you know, if the hogs are getting in and tearing it down,” Watson said. “With a plane, it’s hard to see anything, we at least will be able to identify (the hogs).” Ehsani said “though the technology has been around for years, only recently has it become a viable option for farmers.” “The difference is now with the UAV, we can do this with a much lower cost,” he said. “That makes it more attractive to growers and the fact that they can fly whenever they want to fly.”