Using Drones to Help Farm Hemp Crops

One of the fastest growing industries today is cannabis.  Throughout much of the US and Europe hemp has become legalized.  Many places are also enacting lighter regulations on marijuana . It is important to know the difference here.  Hemp, while federally legal in the United States, is not the same as marijuana because it does not contain THC.  THC is the ingredient in cannabis that gives the user a high.  But because of hemp’s new legal standing, it is creating a whole new market space.

In the past, a cannabis festival was mostly just for those looking for a good time.  But now these festivals are turning into official forums attended by anyone from growers to pharmaceutical and tech companies.  Even universities are now offering classes for those looking to enter cannabis related fields.   In 2019 the University of Pittsburgh School of Pharmacy did a survey that revealed that 62% of pharmacy schools were including the study of cannabis in their curriculum.  University courses are being offered relating to the legal, social, and economic positions of cannabis. 

But perhaps one of the most crucial areas of study for the future of cannabis is in the agricultural aspect of it.  To be able to grow a successful cannabis crop can be a very difficult undertaking.  So, some of the top growers are turning to one of the other fastest growing industries, drones.  Farmers have been using drones for sometime now to help with their fields.  When it comes to the growth of cannabis, these drones can mean all the difference.

Drones equipped with NIR (Near Infrared Technology) can literally save a farmer’s crop.  Drones with cameras and sensors fly over a field giving a farmer a detailed infrared report.  The data collect will let the farmer know details like the temperature, hydration, stress, and pests present in the crop.  To be able to gather this kind of information manually could take days, a lot of manpower, and money.  Using a drone, this process can be done in a matter of minutes by one to two people at a fraction of the cost.

Once all the data has been analyzed by a computer, a farmer can then treat the crops accordingly, all while still using a drone.  If one area of a field is low on hydration, a drone with water tanks can go to that one sector.  If another area needs to be treated for pests, a drone can effectively treat that one area as well.  This will reduce the amounts of pesticides used throughout the entire field, and the chemicals both farmers and consumers come in contact with.

Because of the strict guidelines that need to be followed by anyone involved in the cannabis market, the growth of it is crucial.  With the use of drones agriculturists can be certain that they will be able to produce a successful crop within such guidelines.

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