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The global agriculture drone market size was valued at USD 4.17 billion in 2022 and is projected to grow from USD 4.98 billion in 2023 to USD 18.22 billion by 2030, exhibiting a CAGR of 20.3% during the forecast period.
Agriculture drones are Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) that are designed for the use in farming and agricultural applications. These drones are equipped with a range of sensors and imaging technologies, such as cameras, LiDAR, and multispectral sensors, which allows them to gather data on crops, soil and other factors that affect agricultural production.
The global market is being driven by a range of factors, including the growing demand for precision agriculture, advances in drone technology, cost-effectiveness, government support and growing awareness and education. Furthermore, the data generated by UAVs can be used for a wide range of purposes, including crop monitoring, mapping, and analysis as well as plant counting, irrigation management, and pest control.
Additionally, by providing farmers with accurate and timely information on crop health and productivity, UAVs can help in optimizing farming operations, reduce waste and increase yields. Furthermore, owing to the increase in implementation and adoption of such technologies, the global market is anticipated to grow during the forecast period.
Surging Demand for Automated Drones in Agriculture Supply Chain to Propel Market Expansion Amid the Pandemic
The COVID-19 pandemic had spread at an alarming rate in more than 200 countries around the world. Since the outbreak, coronavirus has infected millions of people and caused thousands of deaths. These factors affected the health of the global economy as strict restrictions were imposed to prevent the spread of infections. The pandemic has also caused long-term economic damage and is likely to trigger a global recession. However, the pandemic created a sudden need for several different types of machinery for agricultural activities in various countries. For several months, labor shortages due to the pandemic prevented the smooth operation of supply chains, reduced revenues, and decreased productivity. These factors had increased the need for agricultural robots, machines, drones, and automated equipment. The growing need for automatic fertilizer sprayers, planters, and small drones for planting is projected to further support the growth of the market. Furthermore, in April 2020, Spain became the first European country to deploy agriculture drone amidst COVID-19. The Spanish military emergency unit has introduced UAVs to spray disinfectant for large outdoor areas. Owing to such factors, the COVID-19 pandemic had a positive impact on market growth.
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Use of Multi-Spectral Imaging and Real-Time Data Management is a Prominent Market Trend
Multi-spectral imaging technology is being used in drones in farms to capture data across different wavelengths of light. This can help farmers to identify crop health issues that are not visible to the naked eye such as nutrient deficiencies or water health. Owing to various benefits of multi-spectral imaging various key players are focused in development of new products. For instance, in November 2022, DJI agriculture launched Mavic 3 Multispectral drones. The aim of the launch is to enhance drone capabilities along with increasing the productivity tool to individuals and organizations in precision agriculture around the world.
Furthermore, drones are being used to provide real-time data on crop health and productivity. This data can be used to make immediate decisions about irrigation, fertilization, and pest control, which can help to optimize crop yields and reduce waste. Additionally, various research organizations and universities around the world are actively focused on improving the capabilities of drones in agriculture. In August 2022, at South Dakota State University, drones were incorporated into a variety of research activities. Maitiniyazi Maimaitijiang, an assistant professor in the Department of Geography and Geospatial Sciences, has been working in conjunction with other faculty members to conduct drone-related research over the last few years, specifically in relation to early diagnosis of crop water stress, nutrient deficiency, crop health and diseases—major threats to food security and crop yield estimations.
Rising Support by Various Governments for Agriculture Drones to Propel Market Expansion
Governments around the world are increasingly supporting the adoption of agriculture drones through various policies and initiatives. The support of governments includes R&D grants, tax incentives, subsidies, training and education, regulatory frameworks, and others. In April 2022, the U.S. Department of Agriculture National Institute for Food and Agriculture received a grant for USD 1 million for the development of innovation in digital agriculture. Additionally, in April 2022, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) announced a grant of USD 4.4 million for the purpose of drone research, education, and training to seven universities. The seven universities that have received the grants are University of North Dakota, University of Kansas, Drexel University, the Ohio State University, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Mississippi State University, and Oregon State University.
Overall, government support for drones is helping to drive the adoption and development of this technology. By providing financial and regulatory support, governments are helping to make UAVs on farms more accessible to farmers, while also ensuring that they are used in a safe and responsible way.
Improved Cost-effectiveness by Using Agriculture Drones to Catalyze the Market Growth
Agriculture drones can provide farmers with accurate and timely data on crop health and productivity, which can help to optimize farming operations, reduce waste, and increase yields. This can help to reduce costs associated with over-fertilization, over-watering, and other inputs, while also increasing crop yields. Agriculture drones can help to save labor costs by reducing the need for manual intervention in farming operations. For example, drones can be used for crop monitoring, mapping, and analysis.
Furthermore, these drones can help to save time by providing real time data on crop health and productivity. This can help farmers to make immediate decisions about irrigation, fertilization, and others. Overall, drones can be a cost-effective solution for farmers looking to optimize their operations and increase crop yields.
Data Overload and Data Collection Error will Hinder Market Expansion
Data overload is a situation that occurs when an individual or organization has access to more data than they can effectively manage. This happens while using drones in farming, as these drones are capable of collecting large amounts of data on crop health, soil moisture levels, and others. Furthermore, the amount of data collected by drones can become overloaded, and make it difficult for the farmers to make sense of the information or use it effectively to make decisions. This can be challenging especially to small farmers who may not have the resource or expertise to manage and analyze large amounts of data.
Another factor affecting the market growth is the inaccuracies in the data collected by a drone. These errors can occur for a variety of reasons such as hardware or software malfunctions, environmental factors, weather conditions or human error. In particular, environmental factors are a major concern for inaccuracy in data collection. For instance, strong winds or rain can cause the drone to fly off course, resulting in incomplete and inaccurate data. Similarly, changes in lighting conditions can affect the quality of data in the form of images by the drone. Such factors are a major issue in the agriculture drone market growth.
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Rotary Drone Segment is Anticipated to Command the Market Owing to Improved Structural Benefits
By type, the market is segmented into fixed wing, rotary wing, and hybrid. Rotary wing segment is the dominating and the fastest growing segment during the forecast period. Rotary wing drones come in a variety of sizes and designs from small, handheld models to large, and commercial grade drones. Owing to the improved structural benefits, the segment is anticipated to dominate the market.
Hybrid segment is projected to have the second largest market share during the forecast period. This type of drone combines the features of both fixed-wing and rotary-wing drones. One of the key benefits of this type of drone is their ability to cover large areas quickly and efficiently. Hybrid drones offer a versatile and effective solution for a wide range of farming applications.
Hardware Segment Dominates the Market Owing to Increase in the Ability to Collect and Process Data on Various Applications
The market by component is bifurcated into hardware and software. Hardware segment is anticipated to dominate the market and be the fastest growing segment during the forecast period. The key reason for the growth in the segment is the improved capability of the hardware components to collect, gather, and process the data and enable farmers to make more informed decisions about crop management.
The software system plays a significant role in providing accurate and real-time information. The software components collect, process, and analyze the data collected by the drone’s hardware.
Frames Segment Dominates the Market Owing to Increased Need of Robust Frame Structures
The market by hardware is segmented into frames, control systems, propulsion system, navigation system, payload, avionics, and others. The frames segment is anticipated to dominate the market during the forecast period and also be the fastest growing segment. The significance of the frame lies in its ability to support the drone’s hardware components and provide a stable platform for data collection. Owing to the need for a robust frame, various key players are focused on producing non-breakable frames.
Control systems segment is projected to be the second largest segment during the forecast period. Control system is a critical hardware component responsible for receiving and processing commands from the operators. Owing to the significance of its application, the segment is projected to grow during the study period.
The propulsion system segment is projected to witness significant growth during the study period. The growth in the segment is owing to several key factors such as generating lift and thrust, maneuvering, flight control, and others.
Imaging Software Segment Dominates the Market Owing to the Wide Application Area in Agricultural Sector
The market by software is segmented into imaging software, data management software, data analytics software, and others. Imaging software segment is projected to be the fastest growing and the dominating segment during the forecast period. The imaging software segment enables the operator to detect and respond to the potential problems early by reducing the risk of crop loss and increasing yields. Owing to such significance of the segment, it is projected to be the largest segment.
Data management software is estimated to be the second largest segment in the market. Various software used in data management are flight planning, data acquisition, cloud-based data management, analysis, and visualization software for crop health monitoring and other applications. As drones continue to become more advanced, data management software will play an important role in helping farmers to improve crop productivity and sustainability.
Field Mapping & Monitoring Segment Dominates Owing to its Wide Usage to Identify Problem Areas in the Farm
The market is segmented into field mapping & monitoring, crop spraying, crop scouting, variable rate application, livestock monitoring, and others by application. The field mapping & monitoring segment is expected to hold the largest share in 2022 and remain dominant during the forecast period. This is due to improved high-tech camera equipment to monitor crops that can analyze field conditions through software systems that generate large amounts of data.
The crop scouting segment is expected to grow at the highest CAGR during the forecast period due to its high importance in pest infestation and disease prevention. Integrated pest management can be performed through various drone software systems that are also effective in disease control interventions.
Europe Agriculture Drone Market Size, 2022 (USD Billion)
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In terms of geography, the market is divided into North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, and the Rest of the World.
The market in Europe held the largest market share in the base year. This region's growth is due to a combination of factors such as demand for drones in agriculture, strong research and development capabilities, increase in funding, and others. Additionally, there is an increase in a number of start-ups in the region such as Delair, Gamaya, Accelerated Dynamics, and others who are focused in developing solutions and software promoting the agriculture UAV market in the region.
North America held the second largest market share in 2022. The market in North America was valued at USD 1.23 billion in 2022. The growth in the region is owing to various government initiatives and investments to boost the market. For instance, the Department of Transportation (DOT) and Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) have introduced favorable regulations to support commercial and small unmanned aerial systems by eliminating the pilot license requirement. Furthermore, the U.S. has a strong and large customer base owned by commercial farming companies operating large acres nationwide. This, along with the presence of suitable manufacturing companies in the U.S. and Canada, explains North America's dominance in the global agriculture drone market share.
Asia Pacific is the fastest growing region during the forecast period. The Asia Pacific market is expected to show healthy growth owing to high agricultural production and global exports of agricultural products. Large agricultural countries such as China, India, Indonesia, and some other Asian countries are expected to boost the demand for UAVs for agriculture. Moreover, market players in the region are investing heavily in product development, which will boost the demand for agricultural UAV services during the forecast period.
The rest of the world is anticipated to witness moderate growth in the market during the forecast period. The growth in the Middle East & Africa is owing to increasing investments in the agricultural drone market. In September 2020, with the introduction of drones into agriculture in the United Arab Emirates, the region stood as first in the world to integrate technology into food security and environmental protection, according to Falcon Eye Drones Services, a leading drone service in the Middle East & Africa.
Increase in Advancing Capabilities is the Key Focus of Leading Players
The agricultural drone market is fragmented due to the presence of major players in this region. Currently, the market players are Drone Deploy, DJI, GoPro, Precision Hawk, and AeroVironment Inc., which accounted for the dominant share in 2022. However, lack of entry barriers is expected to increase the number of domestic players entering the global market. Other major players such as Trimble Navigation Ltd. and 3D Robotics provide end-to-end hardware and software solutions for drones to a global customer base. These companies are also involved in new product development and innovation. The company's product portfolio is designed for a variety of farms that integrate advanced systems. The launch of innovative products such as AGRAS MG-1, eBee SQ, and DJI Phantom-4 Pro has increased brand value. New product development, strategic acquisitions, and collaborations with domestic companies are some of the key strategies adopted by key players in this market.
An Infographic Representation of Agriculture Drones Market
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The agriculture drone market research report provides a detailed market analysis. It comprises all major aspects, such as R&D capabilities, supply chain management, competitive landscape, and optimization of the manufacturing capabilities and operating services. Moreover, the report offers insights into the market trends analysis, market size, growth of the UAVs, and primarily highlights key industry developments. In addition to the above-mentioned factors, it mainly focuses on several factors that have contributed to the global market growth in recent years.
CAGR of 20.3% from 2023 to 2030
Value (USD Million)
By Type, Component, Hardware, Software, Application, and Geography
As per the Fortune Business Insights study, the market size was USD 4.17 billion in 2022.
The market is likely to grow at a CAGR of 20.3% over the forecast period (2023-2030).
Rotary wing segment is expected to lead the market due to increasing demand globally.
The market size in North America stood at USD 1.23 billion in 2022.
Rising support by various government for agriculture drone expected to propel the growth of the market.
Some of the top players in the market are Drone Deploy (U.S.), DJI (China), Precision Hawk Inc (U.S.), AeroVironment Inc. (U.S.), Trimble Navigation Ltd., and others.
U.S. dominated the market in 2022.
Data overload is a major issue in agriculture drone and is expected to hinder the market growth.
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