News from the lab

Drones for agriculture: how #Precizien can you be?

By September 5, 2023 March 26th, 2024 No Comments

Can the drone be a game changer in agriculture?

Together with Cambisol, we are investigating what (earning) opportunities a drone can offer to farmers’ land and vegetation, and what drones can contribute to making agriculture more sustainable. We are undertaking this in cooperation with a group of Limburg farmers.

We follow the farmers over a growing season, conduct drone scans with them, and conduct exploratory market research to identify how a drone can add value for farmers. Broadly speaking, the project is structured as follows.

Problem Statement

  1. Firstly, the development of many innovations in research programs are far removed from the actual practice of the typical farmer. As a result, these latest developments and potential applications often do not reach practitioners across the sector.
  2. The specialised agencies that provide remote sensing services are often too expensive for the mainstream farmer because they focus on large companies and pioneers within the sector.
  3. Despite the fact that many more maps and data can be acquired affordably through the increasing supply of cheaper drones and sensors, the average farmer themselves do not always have the knowledge, time or resources to discover and integrate them into their production system.



  1. Bring relevant cross-sector partners and knowledge together. Precizien aims to establish an innovative partnership between farmers, drone providers, and knowledge experts more precisely in the fields of revenue models, sustainable land and water management, and nature-inclusive agriculture. The cross-sectoral knowledge of these partners, combined with that offered by previous projects (e.g. within the EIP-AGRI network) will be meticulously collated in a knowledge base. Also, with the extensive use of business models used in agriculture, the applicant’s aim will be to elaborate on costs and benefits (e.g. value-added strategies) in this exploratory market study.
  2. Demonstrate drone innovations and test their feasibility. In addition to bringing together both partners and knowledge, Precizien aims to conduct a practical trial of the discussed drone innovations in various Limburg food production systems. In this trial, we will create a wide range of drone maps in cooperation with farmers, and test their practical added value. The proof of concept is thus evaluated, in which we look not only at the effectiveness and impact of the drone insights themselves, but also which operational method best suits the needs and capabilities of the farmer.
  3. Publicise the potential of drone applications in Limburg agriculture. An explicit project goal of Precizien is effective communication and dissemination to the outside world throughout the entire project. To ensure this, an extensive publicity plan has been drawn up using a diverse palette of communication media, including trade journals, the project website ( and social media where the findings are summarised (graphically) to inspire others. In this, the aforementioned field trial additionally plays a pivotal role as an illustration.
  4. Create a strategic plan for broader rollout. The final goal of Precizien is to explore how to bring together knowledge, theoretical foundation, and how practical experience can be optimally deployed in a follow-up initiative. Together with interested parties inside and outside the partnership (such as additional partners who have expressed interest as the project progresses), a strategic plan will be drawn up for broader rollout of the aspects of the innovation that have proven most effective.

Intended result

With Precizien agriculture using drone innovations, farmers can see exactly what the land and its plants need. This helps the farmer to become more sustainable, create added value through better yields and thus contribute to a healthy and safe living environment. The project is committed to demonstrating and deepening the potential of drone innovations for people and environment in Limburg to enable broader application.

Precizien is supported by the Province of Limburg and European ELFPO program, and is led by Nature^Squared and Cambisol consultants.