Tue. Mar 5th, 2024

i’m joined today by marcus weber who is a co-founder of land view drones now drones have been popping up a lot more frequently on farms whether it be for checking fences or field scouting it’s now evolving into helping with spraying what can you tell me about this Imaging with drones the imaging with drones has kind of been developing over the last four to five years already and there’s a lot of good sensors out there there’s still some development necessary on that so we are doing some work on just where specific weeds are

 i know there’s other companies that are focusing on the other weeds but our very specific focus is on canada thistle so we’re using multiple spectral cameras to image where there’s patches of thistle and then we’re going to go take drones and spray exactly

 those patches so we’re working on that entire workflow as a way to kind of build that workflow for other weeds as well Why Canada Thistle why is canada thistle the weed that you guys are targeting so in our area canada thistle is very important um commercially i mean there is a lot of pressure from thistle and it’s a yield robber it also has deep roots so it can survive a lot of herbicide treatments without ever really having any control impact and because of those deep roots we find it really interesting as a first test case and because it’s patchy so it makes sense to spray those with a drone where you’re only spraying 10 of the field rather. than the whole field whereas with more common weeds that are spread across the entire field it still makes sense to use a ground sprayer Benefits of drone spraying what are the benefits of using drone spraying compared to say conventional ground spraying farming’s complex right so in some circumstances it is just it’s a lifesaver if you’re spraying on a mountainside you’re spraying in a rice paddy in water that has snakes in it i mean this beats walking through that yeah and it lets you access areas that you otherwise can’t access here in western canada that’s less the case although we do have some of that as well so i could see spraying a lot of casters vegetation control along waterways that type of thing ultimately and then on broadacre farming i think the real promise is for a smaller patch spraying the drones

┬áthat we have now like this everest that i’ve got sitting behind me they will cover quite a few acres already you can also swarm them so you can fly five of them at the same time and by doing that you really increase your acreage coverage by five times Results of research what are the results of your research showing you so far i know the research isn’t done but what are you finding well we were really pleasantly surprised with the technology i used to be a bit of a downer on spraying drones just because they are small this has a 20 liter tank compared to a ground spare that seems pretty darn small but i’m very impressed with the spray patterns the flow meters all the technology that’s built into this i mean this particular model has pulse width modulation on what is essentially a front virtual boom and then two more pumps for the back boom so the amount of technology that’s already built into these and how easy they are to operate has been probably the biggest surprise so far um we haven’t really got into much spraying yet there are other regulatory issues we need to get through so that we can get operating them routinely and commercially but it within a year or two i suspect they will become much more commonplace especially as smaller models can be operated in swarms 10 liter models for example for farmers in his form of five i think might work quite well that’s Future of drones really interesting so like in the future when drone spring is more commonplace you think farmers will do still do like the big tank for you know the very common ones but then kind of do spot spraying with the drones i i suspect we will still have ground sprayers for a burn off for example the drone still requires a lot of battery changes and until we have much larger drones it’s going to be much more practical to use your ground break thank you so much for joining me it was great chatting with you .

By youne