Use of Unmanned aerial vehicles in Agriculture

Unmanned aerial vehicles – a potential tool to help farmers taking the right decisions

Foto: Maximilian Pircher/NIBIO Photo:

We experience a growing interest in new agricultural technologies that can improve field management by means of precision agriculture (PA). PA relies on updated information on the prevailing field situation, in particular robust estimates on yields, actual above ground biomass, plant nitrogen and water content, plant diseases, and the identification of weeds. Recently emerged unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) and corresponding multi- and hyperspectral imaging systems may play a major role in rapid and non-destructive sampling of such information. Adequate systems are able to provide data at high spatial and temporal resolution, while guaranteeing a high area coverage, and, therefore, meet the need of farmers for decision support in practical farming applications.

In the Department of Agricultural Technology and System Analysis and the Center for Precision Agriculture, we are working intensively on prototyping and evaluating sophisticated UAVs, sensor systems, processing and analyis methods to shorten the time-span until farmers can benefit from these technologies in their daily practice.

For more information, please follow the links to NIBIO Center for Precision Agriculture.


Foto: Jakob Geipel/NIBIO