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Abstract

Sustainability of field production could be improved ifthe amount of data collected is greatly increased. Mass data collection could allow for following much more closely crop and pest development together with tracking the effects exerted by abiotic stresses. This could further provide for better crop management with optimized pesticide, water, and fertilizer applications. Remote data collection is possible in a number of different ways (i.e. ground-, air-, and spacebased). Each of these approaches has its benefits and limitations and the current report discusses some of them. It further elaborates on the use of “copter” drones for real-life applications. Examples of the actual application of such drones in various settings are presented and discussed. Possibilities opened by dynamic tracking of the crop condition are demonstrated in relation to the monitoring of water and nutritional regime. The capacity to track in near real-time of the presence and development of weeds, emergency and spreading of diseases, damages from insects, rodents, etc. is discussed as related to the estimation of actual crop density – mostly in closed canopy crops(i.e. winter cereals and rapeseed). Sustainable crop production is presented as depending on the possibility to determine the total volume of the biomass accumulated during the vegetation/year (particularly in wood species) and thus – the capacity to adequately plan for timely ceasing of applications of agrochemicals and for harvesting the crop. Further discussion on the possibilities to develop prognostic and response applications of drone systems and what benefits they can bring to real-life farming is provided.

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