For generations farmers have walked their fields investigating crops manually for signs of stress or disease. This traditional, labour intensive method is time consuming and can be difficult when crop canopies thicken.
With the advancement of drones, farmers are now able to evaluate their crops at scale while simultaneously creating crop maps that help them manage crops and time better. DJI drones are highly portable, and boast industry leading flight times. Equipped with high resolution cameras for crystal clear image capturing and video recording, detailed images that are essential for analysis is readily accessible to every farmer with out of the box solutions.
Poladrone, an official enterprise distributor of DJI in Malaysia, has been developing various solutions to further amplify the value drone brings to our local market, in particular the oil palm industry. Proprietary algorithms allows us to automatically count palms with accuracy of over 99% with regular DJI Phantom cameras. This represents an unprecedented change in the industry where every Malaysian farmer can now own a drone and obtain relevant information.
Agronomists draw from a number of different sciences to address pressing issues, including producing food, creating healthier food, managing the environmental impact of agriculture, and extracting energy from plants. Whether they specialize in crop rotation, irrigation and drainage, plant breeding, plant physiology, soil classification, soil fertility, weed control, or insect and pest control, agronomists rely on a host of plant and environmental data.
Airborne cameras can carry a powerful combination of infrared and visual cameras to create a view of crops that cannot be seen with the naked eye. This highlights differences between healthy and distressed plants and allows for rapid action where necessary. Drones can also survey a crop every week, every day, or even every hour. Combining this information into a timelapse animation can highlight changes in the crop, revealing trouble spots or opportunities for better crop management.
The M600 series heavy lifter platform gives agronomists a large payload, allowing them to deploy a wide range of third-party sensors and cameras from multi-spectral to hyperspectral and full frame. Powered by the new A3 flight controller, it can be upgraded with DJI’s D-RTK GNSS system for centimeter level hovering accuracy. Two additional satellite and IMU systems can also be added, creating a total of six layers of redundancy to ensure it flies with absolute reliability at all times. Its support of DJI’s SDK allows it to be customized to simplify inspection, from standardized flight patterns to fully autonomous flight, and a base station can also be used to allow the control of up to 5 aircraft simultaneously to make inspecting a large farmland more efficient than previously possible.
The large scale of many plantations poses challenging logistics and planning operations. Farmers are continuously looking to optimise efficiency through proper harvesting routes, fertiliser usage, soil conditions, irrigation and more. There are hundreds of factors contributing to productivity and in turn, yield of the plantation, meaning that detailed tracking and monitoring is often required for proper management.
With DJI drones, farmers now have quick access to high quality maps to assist with management and planning. When combined with DJI XT’s thermal cameras, further information on fertiliser levels, soil condition, irrigation, water pooling can be collected for decision making. Powered by FLIR’s industry leading Tau 2 thermal camera, the XT cameras gives growers a detailed understanding of the state of their lands, giving them fundamental insights that lead to increased yield.
All farms rely on a number of plant protection and fertilization methods to maintain crop health and yields. For decades, farmers have either relied on labor-intensive manual spraying or hired crop dusters to spray fields too large for manual labor. Neither option is an ideal one as manual spraying is time intensive while crop dusters are cost heavy.
The DJI Agras MG-1 is an agricultural octocopter designed to increase efficiency and manageability in plant protection and fertilization. One single Agras MG-1 can carry 10kg of fluid and cover 10 acres (4 hectares) in a single flight. This is ¬60 times faster than manual spraying.
Industry standard ceramic nozzles come pre-installed and can be swapped out if necessary for different spray requirements. In addition to dust and corrosion proofing, the Agras MG-1 is water-resistant so at the end of a spray it can be rinsed clean. Using the Agras MG-1, modern farms have a new tool for spraying that saves on labor while maximizing coverage.