Drone and data package aims to boost farm performance
A drone-assisted precision agriculture company has teamed up with data experts to offer farmers a weatherproof remote sensing service.
Hugh Wrangham, managing partner of Drone AG, said the partnership with South Africa based Aerobotics would provide UK farmers with a weather-proof agricultural drone system and support alongside powerful cloud-based farm management software.
Aimed at UK agronomists and agribusinesses, the service was launched on 1 March. It comprises a recently developed Storm Agri Pro quadcopter and AeroView software package. The drone is said to be robust, rain-proof and wind resilient – with the latest remote sensing equipment.
The new service aims to turn the raw data obtained by remote sensing into useable on-farm information – with an easy-to-use platform to simplify the process and give farmers the information they need to make better agronomic decisions.
Mr Wrangham said: “We believe the combination of an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) built for agriculture, alongside a powerful, user-friendly farm management tool and a nation-wide support service, will open the doors to numerous high-precision farming techniques.”
The new drone systems are built in the UK by Drone AG’s parent company, and DJI Enterprise partner the Drone Aerial Operators Group. They use high-end DJI components and can cover large areas quickly, even in adverse weather conditions.
Drones feature dual batteries with a flight time of up to 30 minutes, as well as dual compass and redundant flight control. This means that the system remains flyable even if any of the three on-board flight controllers fail.
Options include Parrot’s Sequoia multi-spectral sensor, which detect crop health and cropping defects. Mr Wrangham said: “The system is designed to be versatile and robust, but also modular and easy to upgrade, allowing us to keep clients up-to-date with the latest technology.
“With technology advancing all the time, our new support service gives us the flexibility to not only provide on-going operational support, but also physically update and upgrade systems and have them returned to our clients quickly and ready-to-fly.”
The partnership between the two firms aims to make Drone AG and Aerobotics the clear choice for high-precision farm management. Now in the UK, Aerobotics says it has already helped hundreds of farmers improve yields and reduce costs in South Africa and Australia.
The new drone systems start at £7200 with a comprehensive accessories and spares package, as well as including training and one month’s software and support. The enterprise software and support package is charged as a recurring monthly fee of £150.