RotorDrone|May/ June 2020

Drone job opportunities in the agricultural industry
David Daly

The agricultural industry is no stranger to innovations. According to Grand View Research, the precision agriculture industry was valued at $4.7 billion in 2019 and had an expected Compound Annual Growth Rate of 13% from 2020 to 2027.

As the world’s population continues to surge, the demand for food will continue to increase. With limited farmland and fewer people choosing farming as a career, the only hope for supply to meet demand is more efficient farming. Drones have been a part of this industry for several years and will continue to play an evergrowing role in maximizing farming outputs. Wise Guy Reports estimated the agricultural drone market in 2016 to have an approximate value of $434 million. They also projected a growth rate for the market of 38% over the forecast period of 2017- 2025.

Even more compelling is research from Bank of America Merrill Lynch from just a few years ago, suggesting that projects related to agriculture will make up close to 80% of the commercial drone market soon. It all points to a bright future for drones and agriculture, but a shortage of training pilots will limit growth. On the surface, this raises concerns, but it also presents an opportunity. Many commercial drone operators have shied away from agriculture due to the high cost of equipment and limited use cases, but more cost-effective equipment and an increase in the uses for drones in the sector are increasing the attractiveness of the industry to drone pilots. Entry-level options for drones are available for a few thousand dollars versus the tens of thousands or even hundreds of thousands of dollars required just a few years ago.


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May/ June 2020