Checking crop nutrition, disease and weed growth are just some of the uses to which unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), better known as drones, are being put by farmers and their advisers, but they could soon be spreading your slug pellets too.
While increasing availability, falling prices and improving technology have contributed to the rise in popularity, manufacturers aren’t standing still in finding new applications for the mini flying machines.
In China, a provisional regulation drafted by the civil aviation authority will restrict the operation of small civilian drones in urban areas. So manufacturers have switched their attention to rural areas instead.
The world’s biggest drone maker is DJI Technology Co. From its base in Shenzhen, it has been developing new products solely for the agricultural market. Its first model is an aerial sprayer, which it claims will cover 4 hectares of crop every hour, making it 40 times more efficient than conventional ground-based sprayers.
But another Chinese drone manufacturer, Zoomlion, wants to go beyond spraying. It showcased a new model which can not only be fitted with spray tanks and nozzles, but which can alternatively take a payload of 30kg of pellets. Flying at 1-1.5m above the ground, flying time is up to 15 minutes.
Read more here, with Farmers’ Weekly’s review of the LAMMA show: https://www.fwi.co.uk/machinery/technology/lamma-2016-drones-gritters-and-high-tech-kit-hits-the-stands.htm.