It's been just a decade since the world's largest consumer drone maker, DJI, expanded into precision agriculture. But by the end of 2023, the global number of DJI agricultural drones in operation will have already exceeded 200,000, with cumulative agricultural land exceeding 200 million hectares.
These numbers emerge from the DJI Agriculture Drone Insight Report 2022/23, just published by the tech giant, which highlights greater acceptance of agricultural drones and advanced agricultural techniques in recent years.
“This report demonstrates that governments around the world and farmers are adopting the use of agricultural drones and smart farming methods to increase food production in a more scientific, sustainable and environmentally friendly way,” says Yuan Zhang, sales manager DJI Agriculture global. “This approach can reduce the amount of agricultural chemicals used, while ensuring food safety and environmental balance.”
The report is divided into several sections that examine DJI's work in agriculture, global policy trends, innovations in drone applications, and best practices for farmers. DJI explains how it conducted a series of extensive tests, including droplet size tests, drift tests and herbicide tests for its Agras series of agricultural drones, and explains how it trained a total of 150,000 agricultural drone pilots and 2,500 teachers to advance the cause of smart agriculture.
The company also talks about new uses for drones in agriculture, including pollination, removing dead flowers from fruit trees, and spraying fruit trees with antifreeze and sunscreen. The report is also full of useful case studies, such as one large-scale potato grower in Washington State who saw an 80% reduction in insect damage by spot spraying a 60-hectare field , or that of a Japanese rice producer who earned $5,425 more per hectare by reducing fertilizer use while increasing yield.
Extensive discussions are underway around the world on establishing best practices for agricultural drones, including crew training, improvement of drone technology, specifications for pharmaceutical use, standard operating procedures and guidelines for safe operation. For this reason, DJI's detailed report on agricultural activity can prove to be a useful tool for both regulators and users.
You can view the full report here .