chapter  6
24 Pages

Drones to manage weeds in crop fields

ByK. R. Krishna

Weed management methods have evolved a great deal. Weeds are endemic to agrarian regions worldwide. In nature, including within crop fields, weeds express great adaptability and diversity. Drones provide digital data and maps showing weeds in the fields. Satellite imagery with high-resolution spectral sensors has been already used to detect and map weed-infested patches in crop fields. Drones have also been utilized to spray herbicides and other plant protection chemicals into fields supporting crops such as wheat, oats, radish, grape vines and citrus. Weed control in crop fields is achieved first by identifying areas with weed infestation. Weed infestation of such low-land intensive rice fields is highly detrimental to optimum grain and forage yield. Weeds could actually divert a large fraction of fertilizer-based nutrients and water that is meant otherwise for the main crop, that is, rice. Weed maps produced offer a robust basis for farmers to prepare herbicide spray schedules and a generalized weed control program.