Farmers in China have caught up with the country's booming drone trend and started using unmanned aircraft to spray pesticide onto the fields. Not only that, a team of villagers in central China recently bought 30 of these bug-zapping vehicles in hope of turning it into a new business. Zhu Xiwang and his neighbours said they hoped their squad of agri-drones to could help them start a pest-killing service, according to Huanqiu.com, an affiliation to People's Daily Online. This £24.8K flat pack folding home takes just SIX HOURS to build Pictures show the 30 drones lining up on a field, ready to take off. The unmanned aircraft, known by its model name MG-1S, is produced by Shenzhen-based Da Jiang Innovation, one of the largest drone manufacturers in China.
These Indian subsistence farmers know just what to do: Pull out their smartphones and take their picture. The farmers then upload the images with GPS locations to a cloud-based artificial intelligence (AI) app named Plantix. The app identifies the crop type in the image and spits out a diagnosis of a disease, pest or nutrient deficiency. Plantix also aids farmers by recommending targeted biological or chemical treatments for ailing plants, reducing the volume of agrochemicals in groundwater and waterways that can result from overuse or incorrect application of herbicides and pesticides.
U.S. stocks were slightly higher Wednesday morning as utility companies climbed. Energy companies were trading lower as the price of oil continued to slip. Stocks are at their lowest levels in two months after large losses in two of the last three days. The Dow Jones industrial average advanced 31 points, or 0.2%, to 18,097 as of 10:05 a.m. The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose 5 points, or 0.2%, to 2,132.
Last year, US pesticide and seed giant Monsanto noisily stalked its Swiss rival Syngenta, in a bold effort to combine the globe's biggest seed company (itself) with the largest maker of insect- and weed-killing chemicals. The effort ultimately flopped, but it set in motion a veritable merger frenzy among the handful of companies that dominate the the global agribusiness trade. Syngenta succumbed to Chinese chemical giant ChemChina, US titans Dow and DuPont combined (in deal still pending regulatory approval), and Monsanto openly salivated over the agrichemical divisions of German giants BASF and Bayer. Now, however, Monsanto has emerged as the hunted party, and it is a European rival--Bayer--that is taking aim. In a Wednesday statement, Monsanto acknowledged "an unsolicited, non-binding proposal from Bayer AG for a potential acquisition of Monsanto, subject to due diligence, regulatory approvals, and other conditions."
And through all those millennia, farmers have literally battled the elements. They have read the seasons and bred new crop types largely through trial and error. By the late 20th century we had increased food production with mechanization, fertilizers, herbicides, pesticides, irrigation and a lot more. Today, humankind is growing more food than ever. But, here's a crucial question: How long can we keep farming like this?