Drones in agribusiness: how AI can improve sustainability

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Ten billion people: this is the United Nations (UN) estimate for the world population in 2050, which currently exceeds 7 billion. This number poses a series of challenges for humanity, one of which concerns the food supply of so many people.

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At the same time, production techniques that maximize the amount of food cannot be adopted, so the question becomes even more complex: how to feed billions of people every day without giving up the quality of food and without impacting the global ecosystem? The answer to this difficult equation is science and technology, hence the importance of research and development in the area of ​​agribusiness, because even in small areas it is possible to optimize production and have great results.

Technology

Thanks to the development of technologies and the possibility of computerizing production, there are new elements capable of assisting rural producers in diagnosing crops and making business decisions. Some of these possibilities are well known, such as genetic improvement.

Today, when choosing a crop, the producer has at his disposal a series of seeds from different cultivars that respond better to rain, drought, pests, etc., and more and more intelligent systems appear with countless application possibilities. Thanks to Big Data, it is possible to access the indexes of these grains in crops from previous years, confirming the indication of the best type for the climatic forecast of the property.

One possibility is a crop mapping system that can dose irrigation as needed without wasting water or even suspend irrigation if there is a forecast of impending rain. And the best part: this decision-making can be done by artificial intelligence (AI).

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In another example, it is possible to monitor planting by zoning and decrease the use of pesticides on a large scale. If there are pest outbreaks in a certain region of the crop, it is possible to graduate agrochemicals by covering drones, which reduces costs and improves care for the environment.


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