Agricultural drones: Introduction
A major technological advancement, in recent times, is in the area of unmanned aerial vehicles, more popularly known as drones. Originally developed for aerospace and military purposes, drones nowadays have found their way into various sectors, agriculture for instance, due to their enhanced levels of safety and the efficiency they provide. An increase in automation and attention to detail given by the drones, in farming, is one the main reasons farmers adopting them. Agricultural drones provide many advantages and features such as monitoring crop and soil data, seed planting, crop management amongst many others which ultimately contribute towards improving productivity by efficiently using fertilizers, water and soil. Different types of agricultural drones also have the ability of determining overall crop and plant health, land distribution, crop lifecycle amongst thereby maximizing yield and understand crop planting locations.
Agricultural development is one of the most essential and powerful tool to diminish poverty and to feed the growing population of the world which is expected to reach 9.7 billion people by the end of 2050. Drones provide an alternative to lack of skilled workers, heavy equipment and other expensive tools required in the field. Agricultural drones have the ability of spraying chemicals almost 40 – 60% better than humans and thereby save on the resources too.
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Agricultural drones: Market Drivers and Challenges
The crop yield of rice, white and maize are reduced in warmer climates due to the thriving of insects is an important factor driving the growth of agricultural drones market. The unavailability of skilled labor in fields, is spurring farm owners to invest in agricultural drones to achieve reduced lead time in activities such as crop surveillance and seeding, etc. as compared to manual labor. The requirement of agricultural drones has been considered to be paramount in case of large acreage field management. Furthermore, remote and perennial monitoring of the agricultural site with the aid of various different features such as infrared cameras, propulsion systems, GPS, customizable controllers and flight planning will advocate the usage of agricultural drones to higher degree.
Agricultural drones generate a plethora of data, hence burdening farm owners to make use of the same. Collection of data, analyzing it and reviewing it to derive insightful information from the same cost a lot aside from the actual cost of the drone. Most agricultural drones do not have the ability to infiltrate dense crops and foliage, only flying overhead therefore missing out on other insects which may go overlooked. Weed and rotten crop are detected by drones, however ground-based technologies provide a better solution to clean them rather than overhead drones. Most important of all, agricultural drones, with high precision cameras and other features, have a high cost range, therefore making it inaccessible for most of the farmers.
However, with the product being launched in recent times has been relegated to only regional markets of high capita spend on agricultural equipment in certain countries. The investment costs coupled with low level of product awareness and adoption in the larger base of geographical regions across the globe is currently a restraint to the growth of agricultural drones market. This scenario is expected to transcend towards greater degree of penetration in emerging markets, provided the vendors offer economic solutions for the agriculturists.
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Agricultural drones: Market Segmentation
On the basis of product type, the global Agricultural drones market can be segmented into the following:
- Fixed Wing
- Rotary Blade
- Data Management
- Data analyzing
On the basis of application, the global Agricultural drones market can be segmented into the following:
- Smart Greenhouse
- Precision agriculture
- Livestock Monitoring
- Field Mapping
On the basis of farm produce, the global Agricultural drones market can be segmented into the following:
- Fruits & Vegetables
- Field Crops
On the basis of range, the global Agricultural drones market can be segmented into the following:
- Visual Line of Sight
- Beyond visual line of sight
Agricultural drones: Regional Market Outlook
North America accounts for the highest demand of high quality crops, increasing automation and growing cost of labor, which will increase the sales of agricultural drones even further. North America is also not prone to strict regulations against usage of drones in agriculture. However due to large fields, growing population and risen food demand in the Asia – Pacific region is a more favorable region which could account for a higher growth in the agricultural drones market.
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Agricultural drones: Key Market Players
Major market participants in the global Agricultural drones market identified across the value chain include:
- Trimble Inc
- AeroVironment, Inc
- Yamaha Motor Corp.
- Sentara Inc
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