• • • Get ready for drone sprayers
The use of drones in agriculture seems to gain a little more momentum every season. So far, the jobs they’ve been put to include taking NDVI images and crop scouting, among others.
Don Campbell, owner of ROGA Drone, says his start-up company will be heavily engaged in research and testing this coming season to evaluate the overall viability of drone spraying, with a view to becoming the first custom aerial applicator on the prairies to exclusively employ the small aircraft. Because tank capacity on drones is very limited, applications rely on ultra-low water volume mixes. And that may make them a perfect fit for pesticide applications, especially in mosquito abatement programs.
The drone Campbell has chosen for his company is a unique hybrid type made by Kray that uses both rotary props and a fixed wing to improve payload capacity. It carries a 16.5-foot boom underneath it. The downwash from the rotors helps push the spray down into the crop canopy, which helps reduce drift. With its speed and use of ultra-low water volume spray mixes, Campbell thinks the Kray drone is capable of handling some full-field spraying jobs, not just spot applications.