Agriculture has been a major vertical for commercial drone technology for the last few years -but far from flattening out, the market looks like it is continuing to expand. A new research study puts the Agricultural Drones Market at over $1 billion by 2024.
The new research report by Global Market Insights, Inc. estimates that “global shipments will exceed 200 thousand units by 2024.”
Many research studies tend to dramatically overstate or understate the market based on difficult to determine measurements. “Fleet size” vs. “equipment” – which could include software – or “industrial drones” which may discount the prosumer models widely used throughout the agriculture segment make such estimates challenging to understand. This particular report attempts a measurement by narrow category: both by product (hardware [fixed wing, multi rotor, nano, hybrid], and software [data management, imaging, data analytics]),and by application (field mapping, variable rate application, crop scouting).
A few key takeaways from the report include the sectors top winners by company and region. AeroVironment, DJI, and leading mapping platform DroneDeploy are the three top companies in the industry, while the U.S. holds 30% of the market:
AeroVironment, DJI, DroneDeploy, GoPro, PrecisionHawk, and Trimble Navigation are some of the major companies operating in the agricultural drones market… Corporate investors such as Monsanto, Syngenta, and Mitsui, backed emerging start-ups for improving harvesting, crop spraying, and irrigation. In February 2016, US reported investments in UAVs and robotics with volumes up to USD 389 million in 2015 and approximately 40 companies raising the funds. DJI, a well-established player in China raised USD 75 million during its first drone launched especially for the agricultural space.
…U.S. agricultural drones market size was over 30% of the global revenue in 2016. Rising trend of implementation of UAVs for enhanced productivity and increasing awareness of precision agriculture for crop scouting and field mapping is expected to drive the industry growth in this region. APAC agricultural drones market will benefit from growing adoption and technological developments. Companies are investing in the region to develop low cost and effective UAVs for numerous applications in the agricultural sector.
“Growing awareness regarding UAV implementation benefits among farmers will support the agricultural drones market share from 2017 to 2024,” says the report. “Increasing technological advancements to enhance quality farming techniques will further drive the industry demand over the forecast timeline… Favorable government initiatives across the agricultural sector will allow large and small operations to aid in effective farming practices.”
Miriam McNabb is the Editor-in-Chief of DRONELIFE and CEO of JobForDrones, a professional drone services marketplace, and a fascinated observer of the emerging drone industry and the regulatory environment for drones. Miriam has a degree from the University of Chicago and over 20 years of experience in high tech sales and marketing for new technologies.