One of the business areas that have benefited more from the proliferation of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) is definitely precision agriculture. With the advent of GPS in the early 90’s, the addition of foreign constellations to form GNSS in the 2000’s, and the extraordinary world-wide coverage and precision of positioning satellites, every country in the world can take advantage of larger crops per acre.
Positioning companies such as Trimble, Topcon, and Leica have developed complex solutions to aid farmers in the maximization of resources, allowing automated planters, irrigation systems and crop harvesters in partnership with behemoth heavy machinery manufacturers such as Caterpillar, John Deere, and Kumatsu.
With the combination of having the precise location of every seed and the ability to map and digitally model farmland, agricultural companies can now expand the arable portions of their properties in hundreds and sometimes thousands of acres.
In Brazil, in particular, where sugar cane is used to produce sugar and also ethanol as fuel for cars, the size of these agricultural concerns is huge, and the maximization of resources such as water and pesticides, is not a nice to have but a must in order to remain competitive.