The agriculture drones market is expected to grow from USD 1.2 billion in 2020 to USD 5.7 billion by 2025 at a CAGR of 35.9% from 2020 to 2025. A few key factors driving the growth of this market are pressure on global food supply due to growing world population and increase in venture funding for the development of agriculture drones.
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Recently, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the regulatory body for commercial drone operations in the US released the Small UAS Rule (Part 107). This has made a major impact on how drones can be and are being used across industries, including agriculture. Mostly, concerned toward the agricultural industry, the rules suggest the ways for the use of drones by farmers and ranchers, and define the requirements and provisions to conduct remote sensing operations over farms and ranches. For agriculture, in Part 107 rule, a waiver allowing operations beyond the visual line-of-sight (BVLOS) of the operator allows pilots to capture more area in a single deployment, compared to the area taken while flying a drone within line-of-sight.
The emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic, a deadly respiratory disease that originated in China, has now become a worldwide issue and has also affected the agriculture drones market. Considering the inputs from various industry experts belonging to the various stages of the value chain, such as OEMs, suppliers, end users, and distributors, and the financial releases of various companies in the agriculture drones ecosystem for Q1, 2020, it is estimated that market might witness a decline during 2019â€“2020.
The agriculture drones market for software and services is expected to grow at a higher CAGR during the forecast period. This growth is attributed to high investments being done by the venture capitalists and investors in the start-up companies offering software and analytics to digitize the information collected by drones; the investments are mainly directed at mapping, imaging, and data analytics software.
The agriculture drones market for hybrid/VTOL is expected to grow at the highest CAGR during the forecast period. Hybrid drones with vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) capabilities combine the cruising flight efficiency of fixed-wing aircrafts with the convenient vertical landing of multirotors while carrying heavier cameras. Due to these advantages, hybrid drones are being adopted for precision farming applications, such as field mapping, crop scouting, and crop spraying.
The agriculture drones market for navigation systems is expected to grow at the highest CAGR during the forecast period. A drone well equipped with a navigation system and an autopilot system, including a camera, gives plenty of aerial options. For aerial photogrammetry and 3D mapping, it is essential to deploy a drone with a navigation system, an autopilot flight system, and a camera.
The agriculture drones market for precision fish farming is expected to grow at the highest CAGR during the forecast period. The increasing demand for various hardware devices such as GPS/GNSS, and various sensors is contributing to the growth of the agriculture drones market for precision fish farming. Drones are used as a fisheries assessment tool by natural resource agencies in Texas and Nebraska in the US. These agencies have used fixed-wing drones to conduct in-channel habitat mapping in low waters in the Guadalupe (Texas) and Niobrara (Nebraska) rivers.
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The agriculture drones market for indoor farming applications is expected to grow at a higher during the forecast period. In greenhouses, drones are increasingly being used for pollination applications (self and cross-pollinating). Drones can also be programmed to collect environmental data inside greenhouses and can be mounted to a drone to measure temperature, humidity, and C02 concentration. Furthermore, drones are also used for controlling pests and insects for indoor horticulture applications.