Drones continue to prove profitable in agriculture
Although the initial hype of drones has subsided, an ag drone specialist says the technology continues to gain popularity and profitability in agriculture.
Jim Love with Beck’s Hybrids tells Brownfield simply having an entry level drone to use as a flying camera has show to be worth the investment even for farmers with very few acres.
“Anybody who has spent much time in the farming business has seen a guy standing on the roof of his pick-up trying to figure out what is going on in a field. You can take a simple $500 drone, get in the air, and because of the perspective you gain from having a little more altitude you can see what those patterns are without standing on the roof of your $70,000 pick-up.”
Love currently has a Hylio spray drone that can apply one gallon per acre on four acres before needing a recharged battery, which works well for short strips that need additional pesticides. He says while it is still more logical to use a ground sprayer or full-sized aircraft on large fields, he expects bigger, more efficient drones will be incorporated in the future.
“In the next 20 years we may not see manned spray planes in the skies, we will see a fleet of drones putting on fungicides and insecticides.”
Brownfield interviewed Love at Beck’s Southern Illinois Field Show.