New drone technology looks to simplify precision spraying

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A drone sprayer aimed at saving farmer’s inputs and resources was on display at Ag in Motion 2022, where it also took home an innovation award for its potential within the industry.

SkyAg Tech, in partnership with XAG, debuted their v40 drone — a fully autonomous machine capable of spraying 100 acres per day.

For operations that require a higher number of acres sprayed per day, Frank Crymble, operator and instructor with Sky Ag Tech, says producers can have up to five drones running at once.

“The technology allows for — they call it swarming technology — where you set up five, or up to five at once, top up their tanks and press play and they will go off. And obviously that will increase your productivity times five. So you go from 100 acres to 500 acres in a day, typically five to seven hours for one operator,” explains Crymble.

The drone is also capable of regulating the size of the droplets of the liquid being sprayed anywhere from 60 to 300 microns, something that differs from traditional boom and aircraft sprayers. Each drone operator can adjust the droplet size through an app. This capability, Crymble says, can greatly increase efficacy of the liquid being sprayed.

“Traditional sprayers use pressure nozzles or pneumatic nozzles and there’s lots of variation in the size of the droplets, which is not a good thing. Some of them bounce off, some of them are too small and they drift away. And so there’s really inconsistent coverage,” says Crymble.

The height at which the drone sprays the crop is also an advantage according to SkyAg Tech, with the propellers aiding in pushing the liquid molecules down to the crop, again, allowing the producer to get the most out the product.

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