Wait until you see footage of the XAG UAS Atomisation Spraying and Intelligent Spreading system. At US$27k this UAS is a little pricey, but it does shedloads.
Will it unshackle the Smallholder economy?
The all-new XAG® XPlanet® Agricultural UAS is a high-performance unmanned aerial system that combines atomisation spraying and intelligent spreading technology to provide every user with smart agriculture solution on unlimited application scenarios (e.g., crop spraying, rice direct seeding, rapeseed spreading, grassland restoration, forest protection and crayfish feeding).
Designed to improve yield and food quality with 90% less water and 30% less chemical, it is the world’s first fully integrated agricultural drone that pushes spraying efficiency to an unprecedented level of 18 hectares per hour. When mounted with JetSeed™ Granule Spreading System, XAG® XPlanet® can precisely spread rice seeds, through 18m/s high-speed airflow, on 6.5 hectares of land per hour, 80 times more efficient than manual seeding.
Why are some of the facts on this drone company?
XAG is the world’s leading agriculture technology company and industrial UAS manufacturer.
When XAG debuted at #Agritechnica2019 last month it was the world's largest agricultural machinery and equipment trade show held in Hanover, it was the only agriculture technology company presenting precision agricultural drones at the expo.
During the past three years, XAG claims that their UAS crop protection services have covered 20 million hectares of global farmlands (that’s equal to about 5% of all agricultural land in Australia)
XAG was awarded Best Innovation in Precision Farming Technology at #CropScienceAwards2019. They were the first Chinese #agritech company awarded the ‘Oscar’ of the crop science and agtech industry.
There's more information in this article along with a claim of a 98% mortality rate from a field test with Bayer Crop Science where an army of the drones were deployed to fight a crop-devouring pest in a southern area of China.
Q: Could we use this technology to fight a worm attack on Australia?
A: Lucky the fall armyworm has not been reported in Australia but initial detection in Africa in 2016 saw the fall armyworm spread to more than 30 countries over 3 years. In 2018, for the first time, the fall armyworm was detected in India and Sri Lanka. In 2019 it has spread to Asian countries including; Bangladesh, Thailand, Myanmar, China and Indonesia. A suitable climate, trade and transport routes mean Australia could potentially face a high threat of fall armyworm invasions originating from neighbouring and trading countries. Read more from the DPI about the Fall armyworm in Australia here.
What else can I tell you about the UAS?
propeller downdrafts hold droplets in a straight downward stream, so to prevent drifting and reduce evaporation
compared with traditional spraying heads, the ones used on drones are upgraded technologically so that one drop of pesticide can be divided into smaller drops and sprayed on more farmland
there have been Australian Field Trials, as featured on Landline, ABC, Sep 7, 2019. Contact Dr John Troughton, WSU.