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The farmers of yesteryear might not be too familiar with their surroundings if they were to visit a modern farm. While the men and women who made their livings as farmers decades ago would no doubt still recognize certain farm features that have withstood the test of time, they might not understand the inner workings of the modern farm, particularly in regard to the role technology now plays within the agricultural sector.

Technology has changed agriculture in myriad ways. The methods farmers employ to produce food and improve the efficiency of their operations has changed as technology has evolved. One of the more noticeable changes that’s hard to miss on modern farms is the use of agricultural drones. 

Drones have been around for decades. Sometimes referred to as “unmanned aerial vehicles,” or “UAVs,” drones can be utilized in ways that can save farmers money and protect the planet.

• Monitor crops: According to senseFly, the commercial drone subsidiary of Parrot Group, drones can help farmers effectively monitor their crops. With a drone flying overhead, farmers can spot and quickly identify issues affecting their crops before those issues escalate into something larger. 

• Soil analysis: Another potential benefit of agricultural drones highlights their role in analyzing soil. Agricultural drones utilize complex mapping functions to gather data about the soil, including areas where it might be stressed. That enables farmers to develop accurate soil samples that can be used to guide decisions in regard to irrigation and fertilization.

• Reduce waste: SenseFly notes that data gathered by drones can help farmers determine the vigor of their crops at various stages of growth. Such information can prevent overfertilization and overwatering, thereby reducing waste and runoff, benefitting the planet as a result.

• Planning: Drones can be used to collect data on crop growth and health at various times throughout the growing season. That can help farmers develop accurate predictions regarding harvest quality and crop yield, making it easier for them to plan ahead.

Agricultural drones are one of the many examples that illustrate how technology has changed and will continue to change the ways modern farmers conduct business.

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