Spraying by unmanned aerial vehicle provides numerous benefits as a result of being able to apply treatments in ways that were previously not possible. Drone spraying is relatively new to the United States, but has been used in other countries for over a decade. Where Ag-Bee offers the biggest advantage over traditional methods of crop spraying is in field access and input costs.
Some of the benefits of drone spraying include:
The answer varies based upon several factors including the label rate of the pesticide being applied.
In general, if applying 3 gallons per acre, we can cover around 8-10 acres per hour including refilling time. However, Ag-Bee is currently developing technology and spraying techniques that will enable us to increase those numbers significantly.
One distinct benefit to drone spraying is that it is truly a solution for any crop.
The current technological and regulatory environment is more favorable for high-value, low-acre specialty crops – grapes, hemp, berries, or anything where the plot size is below 50 acres. Vineyards, greenhouses, and test plots are perfect for drone spraying technology.
Drones also provide unique access to difficult terrain and fields where weather conditions or the growth stage might not normally permit access. When treatment is most critical, Ag-Bee is not limited by heavy or cumbersome equipment.
For high-acre, commodity row crops, spot spraying with a drone is effective and efficient. Utilizing multispectral imagery, it is possible to assess, diagnose, and treat affected areas, reducing overall treatment time and product used.
Absolutely. Organics are another great fit for the benefits provided by drone spraying.
A list of products that can be applied to organic crops can be found here.
Yes, there are many other uses for an agricultural drone beyond pesticide application.
Using a granular spreader, we can do anything from applying fertilizer, to scattering grass seed, to dispersing beneficial insects. Drones can even be used to scare away unwanted vertebrate pests, such as birds.