It is now obvious that, the progress of drones is by no means limited to spraying. Their core function is to provide detailed aerial maps of farms, enabling farmers to take data-driven site-specific action. Light-weight low-cost drones are often loaded with small multi-spectral sensors, measuring key indicators about plant health, yields, water stress levels, nitrogen deficiency , to name a few.
Agriculture will be a major market for drones, reaching over $480m in 2027. Unmanned remote-controlled helicopters have already been spraying rice fields in Japan since early 1990s. Indeed, this is a maturing technology/sector with overall sales in Japan having plateaued. This market will benefit from a new injection of life as suppliers diversify into new territories and as low-cost light-weight sprayer drones enter the market.