Agriculture is one area where drones are making a big impact in Queensland, whether it is detecting and killing weeds, measuring disease outbreaks or supporting crop-breeding trials.
The Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (DAF) will be highlighting its innovative use of drones through a display at the World Of Drones Congress in Brisbane.
Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries Mark Furner highlighted the value of drones particularly to precision agriculture.
“More and more producers are seeing the benefits of drones as part of their farming operations,” he said.
“Applied research is focusing on expanding the use of drones in assessing crop health, breeding lines, pasture growth and horticulture yields, releasing predator mites over certain crops, disease detection, targeting weeds and monitoring water levels in dams and bores in remote areas.
“Many of these activities could previously take days of labour-intensive effort, but with drones can now be accomplished in as little as a few minutes.
“For example, the Queensland Government has developed a drone that can fly over sugar cane fields, identify weeds and take them out with a targeted shot of herbicide. This saves time, money and helps to reduce herbicide run off into local waterways.
“One of the many information sessions at the Congress will be dedicated to agriculture, environment and conservation, so visitors can learn more about this important focus of drone usage.”
Mr Furner said it was timely that the Congress was being held in Queensland, which was the first state to develop a drone strategy.
“Released in June this year, the Strategy will help to build local industry capability in drone research, design and development which in turn will attract investment and create jobs,” he said.
“With estimations that the global drone industry will be worth US$100 billion by 2020, it is an important field for Queensland to be involved in.
“Our strategy aims to unlock the potential use of drones in all industries, not just agriculture.
“Already we’ve seen the Department of Defence choose Queensland as the home for its new $50 million Defence Cooperative Research Centre to develop drone and robotics technologies for the Army, Navy and Air Force.”
The Palaszczuk Government is committed to embracing drone technologies and provides ongoing support to the Congress.
Now in its second year, the World of Drones Congress brings together industry and government leaders with drone experts and enthusiasts to display and explore the current and future potential of the drone sector.
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