Could Drones Be the Next Big Thing for the Australian Olive Industry?

With legislation making drone ownership easier and more affordable, many farmers are could find a more effective means of crop monitoring and maintenance.

In the increasingly unstable world of farming, everything from volatile weather conditions, to pests and disease, to rising operational costs pose a threat to crops and livestock. Time is of the essence when it comes to dealing with and eradicating many of these problems before they spread or worsen.

Many Australian farmers are turning to agricultural drones as a cost and time effective means of keeping tabs on their herds and fields — and olive farmers are no different.

The agricultural drone market might be relatively unheard of, but seeing that it’s quadrupled in value since 2012, that’s likely to change very soon. Experts are saying that the market (valued at $673 million in 2015) will exceed $2.9 billion in the next four years.

Technology once used by the military has found its home in agricultural drones, or UAVs (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles), allowing farmers to better plan their planting and crop rotation strategies by providing a day-to-day progress report on their fields and soil, as well as their irrigation and even any pest infestations.

Using advanced sensors and imaging capabilities to take aerial images, agricultural drones can provide an early detection with multispectral imagery that detects signs of sickness in plants that are not visible to the naked eye. More