Drones used for more than just mapping?

LukeB

New Member
Hey all,
I'm a student at the University of Florida and I've been trying to research how drones are used in agriculture for a class project.
I know that some farms use drones just to map out the land and get HQ photos, but usually this is done manually.
I'm wondering whether you all think that drones have much more potential for ag usage?
Do you think that drones could eventually replace sprayers for liquid application or for herbicide spot-treatment?

If you really want to help out a student, I would appreciate it if you filled out this quick Google form about your thoughts!

I just need a few more responses to fulfill my assignment :)
Excited to hear your thoughts!

Google form: https://forms.gle/3LkAmBy8rVopvk97A

-Luke
 

Scribus

Member
Location
Central Atlantic
Over here the fear is that drones are rapidly becoming a tool of the criminal fraternity as they enable the surveillance of properties and facilities to better plan heists. There are calls for far greater restrictions on their deployment and freedom to operate them. Google maps is another innovation that does not meet with universal joy for the same reasons. Both, BTW, are highly invasive of privacy, but that's another argument.
 

Kiwi Pete

Member
Livestock Farmer
I'm as far away as possible (and a Luddite) but a mate and I are looking into getting into drone spraying - possibly just the one for a start (eg. spraying weeds in tough terrain) and then possibly expand if it takes off :rolleyes:
Pretty weak pun there - but I can see a demand for this in future, even if solely for contract work under pylons or similar, so have to be in it to win it! (y)
Still fairly pricy yet, but for eg 25k would get us a fairly equipped 20l sprayer with 6m boom on, guidance etc, and low running costs
 

Scribus

Member
Location
Central Atlantic
I'm as far away as possible (and a Luddite) but a mate and I are looking into getting into drone spraying - possibly just the one for a start (eg. spraying weeds in tough terrain) and then possibly expand if it takes off :rolleyes:
Pretty weak pun there - but I can see a demand for this in future, even if solely for contract work under pylons or similar, so have to be in it to win it! (y)
Still fairly pricy yet, but for eg 25k would get us a fairly equipped 20l sprayer with 6m boom on, guidance etc, and low running costs

Nothing wrong with Luddites, they were, after all, the embryo of the trade union movement which has brought terrific benefits to the 99%.
 

Kiwi Pete

Member
Livestock Farmer
Nothing wrong with Luddites, they were, after all, the embryo of the trade union movement which has brought terrific benefits to the 99%.
So many things don't work as well as we think they do, it's fairly obvious from my time on TFF that your public are fairly nervous about things in the air.... just as many farmers are scared to invest with other farmers cooperatively!

Here it's quite different, especially in rural areas as we have helicopters and planes routinely doing ag work - so I think the drones could well be a cheaper solution than manned aircraft, certainly a lot cheaper/hr.

I know there's a company in the north island with a fleet of 68 spraying drones.

Related to your comment about us Luddites :) the best things in life were thought of a long time ago... most of the inbetween has been fairly pitiful
 

Fruitbat

Member
BASIS
Location
Worcestershire
There's potential for introducing predatory / beneficial insects and bio control measures in orchards and other fruit crops by flying down the rows and adding a light garnish of your desired agent into the crop canopy. It would certainly save on labour cost to do a similar job by hand. There's also a project looking at better fruit agronomy by drone, although I'd be very impressed if they can turn a leaf over, look into bud scales and identify a 0.25mm insect from a hovering position....
FB
 

Scribus

Member
Location
Central Atlantic
So many things don't work as well as we think they do, it's fairly obvious from my time on TFF that your public are fairly nervous about things in the air.... just as many farmers are scared to invest with other farmers cooperatively!

Here it's quite different, especially in rural areas as we have helicopters and planes routinely doing ag work - so I think the drones could well be a cheaper solution than manned aircraft, certainly a lot cheaper/hr.

I know there's a company in the north island with a fleet of 68 spraying drones.

Related to your comment about us Luddites :) the best things in life were thought of a long time ago... most of the inbetween has been fairly pitiful

Aerial application of chemicals and fertilisers has been tried over here, mainly in the 70's and 80's, but the cost was considered horrendous and the method far too indiscriminate.
 

Kiwi Pete

Member
Livestock Farmer
Aerial application of chemicals and fertilisers has been tried over here, mainly in the 70's and 80's, but the cost was considered horrendous and the method far too indiscriminate.
I drive a fert spreader truck (bulky, sower) as a day job and it's the agplane and helicopter keeping us from charging more!

Heli is around the $1200-1500/hr mark so a couple of programmed drones should be able to charge half that ;);) however the heli can spread 2-3 tons of fert on your crop in that time with zero compaction or crop damage, I can spread 20 ton but leave a mark
For something like spraying invasive weeds on wetlands, there won't be many things that can touch a drone for cost effectiveness and precision?
 

Farmernz

New Member
I became a drone enthusiast after having sheep stuck in snow back in 2013. I used a glider and GoPro to film where I couldn't walk to see if sheep needed rescuing. All full sized aircraft were busy helping those hit harder with snow than us. This got me into building quadcopters , which we used for gathering sheep and cattle on big blocks, it is a great time saver. At one point I made a hopper that could put out tordon prills onto weeds ( broom), it worked well and the broom died. It is a dry powder that reacts with rain to activate, so light weight to carry. Downside is it is expensive at 30grams per square meter rate compared to liquids. Any how after August 2015 our rules changed around drone use so you need an Ag rating part 102 and chemical handlers ticket to drop anything from a drone. Stock work and lambing beats are good with drones and I know some orchards are using them to keep birds away and check nettings for holes. Many Ag uses besides ndvi mapping.
 

clbarclay

Member
Location
Worcestershire
I recall farmers have used drones was bird scarers, mimicking soaring birds of prey, but by the sound of it regular drone flying could become as unpopular as gas bangers I would not want to be manning a drone the whole time. If an autonomous drone was set to fly around at 20m using just satelites to guide it, I doubt folk would believe there was no camera on it.

How good are mid sized quadcopters in windy conditions. On christmas day I had a walk up a local hill and there was a group with a small drone (approx size of a large phone / small tablet). I guess they had been banished from flying it in the house, but in the gentle breeze on the hill top all it could do was go up, get blown sideways and then fall like a brick when it got too far away and cut out.
 

Fruitbat

Member
BASIS
Location
Worcestershire
I saw a DJI Phantom fly at an event a couple of years ago at Ledbury Rugby Club, whilst 30 odd growers stood in the car park getting cut in half by an evil northerly gale, the drone hovered barely moving. Probably got through the batteries a bit, but we'd all legged it back inside for a cuppa by then...
 

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Man fined £300 for bonfire-related waste offences

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Written by William Kellett from Agriland

court-640x360.jpg
A man has pleaded guilty at Newtownards Magistrates’ Court to waste offences relating to a bonfire next to the electrical sub-station on the Circular Road in Newtownards, Co. Down.

Gareth Gill (51) of Abbot’s Walk, Newtownards pleaded guilty to two charges under the Waste and Contaminated Land (Northern Ireland) Order 1997, for which he was fined £150 each and ordered to pay a £15 offender’s levy

On June 25, 2018, PSNI officers went to Gill’s yard, where they found a large amount of waste consisting of scrap wood, pallets, carpet and underlay.

Discussion with Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA) officers confirmed the site...
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