ASAN, SOUTH KOREA, May 23 (Korea Bizwire) — Drones are poised to transform the rice farming industry in South Korea, with a local agricultural technology center successfully trialing rice planting using agricultural drones, a process which saw the unmanned aerial vehicles take only a third of the average time spent by a direct seeder to do the same work.
The agricultural technology center in Asan, a city in South Chungcheong Province, was able to trial direct seeding of rice over an area of 120,000 square meters with the help of drones, the center said yesterday.
Direct seeding using drones is thought to be the future of rice farming, as it surpasses human hands, rice-planting machines and seeding machines in productivity.
Typically, it takes one and a half hours to plant rice seeds over an area of 10,000 square meters using direct seeders, but unmanned aerial vehicles can reduce the time to nearly a third, with little to no difference in crop yield.
“When the drone-based direct seeding technology becomes commercialized, it could help get farmers out of the slump caused by the declining price of rice and a labor shortage,” one center official said.
Last year, the local agricultural technology center received praise for using the unmanned aircraft for rice farming.