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Drone Spraying Info


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Thought I would share this from the guy that is going to spray CRP area that needs a chemical burn for contract compliance that I just mowed and drilled. 

The customer I was doing the mowing/drilling for had ben working with the local coop and they messed up the spraying last yr and now this yr they only sprayed half of it and when I called them for info they had excuses of course and did the blame game. 

Needless to say I did the right thing and asked them to finish it and they were not wanting to do it. Story of too wet, ruined tire on last place ( not the place I was cutting/drilling )  so not going to do CRP anymore. 

I told the guy I had a drone sprayer that would do it so would go that route. 10 mins later the guy from coop calls me back and wants drone sprayers info so he can use him LOL. 

So about the drone stuff - the guy I am using sprays for 1/2 the cost of the coop/wheeled machine for a roundup chemical burn. roughly $20/acre the quotes I got from the local coop and another spraying company plus the MFA were $40 to $42.50/acre. None were able to spray it in the timeframe I needed. Too busy, too much hastle to change products in their machines from whatever they are spraying beans/corn with. Too muddy ( we got a bunch of rain here ) and in the coops case worried about ruining $3K tire. 

His drones ( he has two ) and of course I forgot to ask him what brand. 

He maps the field with GPS for them. 

They are 8 Foot span in size and spray a path of 20' 

They carry 5.5 gallons of spray. 

They spray one tank per battery, he applies 1gal of product per/acre

So 5gals/5 acres = 1 battery

For the particular field example its 20 acres he said will take him 20 mins to fly/spray. 

They fly 10feet above the deck. Go within 15 feet of trees for safety from wind drift. 

Thought I would pass this along as it will soon likely take over spraying with the big expensive machines. Many advantages and they dont damage the crop nor do they leave ruts in fields when its wet. 

I would recommend checking into this in your area. 

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I have run a custom sprayer enough to say with good authority, that if CRP was decent to spray, it would still be in production. It doesn’t take many ruined tires or a tow bill from getting stuck to take all the profits out.

10 feet above leaves lots of area for wind to drift your chemicals. Most crop dusters are around that height. 

I think drones have a future in spraying, but I still have to question the low volume application. Way back when I first started working with the sprayer, I was told I could use 3 gallon of water per acre when applying Roundup. By the time I left, 10 years later, they were telling us that 15 gallon minimum and 20 was better. 

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1 hour ago, searcyfarms said:

Thought I would share this from the guy that is going to spray CRP area that needs a chemical burn for contract compliance that I just mowed and drilled. 

The customer I was doing the mowing/drilling for had ben working with the local coop and they messed up the spraying last yr and now this yr they only sprayed half of it and when I called them for info they had excuses of course and did the blame game. 

Needless to say I did the right thing and asked them to finish it and they were not wanting to do it. Story of too wet, ruined tire on last place ( not the place I was cutting/drilling )  so not going to do CRP anymore. 

I told the guy I had a drone sprayer that would do it so would go that route. 10 mins later the guy from coop calls me back and wants drone sprayers info so he can use him LOL. 

So about the drone stuff - the guy I am using sprays for 1/2 the cost of the coop/wheeled machine for a roundup chemical burn. roughly $20/acre the quotes I got from the local coop and another spraying company plus the MFA were $40 to $42.50/acre. None were able to spray it in the timeframe I needed. Too busy, too much hastle to change products in their machines from whatever they are spraying beans/corn with. Too muddy ( we got a bunch of rain here ) and in the coops case worried about ruining $3K tire. 

His drones ( he has two ) and of course I forgot to ask him what brand. 

He maps the field with GPS for them. 

They are 8 Foot span in size and spray a path of 20' 

They carry 5.5 gallons of spray. 

They spray one tank per battery, he applies 1gal of product per/acre

So 5gals/5 acres = 1 battery

For the particular field example its 20 acres he said will take him 20 mins to fly/spray. 

They fly 10feet above the deck. Go within 15 feet of trees for safety from wind drift. 

Thought I would pass this along as it will soon likely take over spraying with the big expensive machines. Many advantages and they dont damage the crop nor do they leave ruts in fields when its wet. 

I would recommend checking into this in your area. 

Interesting,  I had never heard of drone spraying until you mentioned it recently. 

I will say somewhat semi selfishly tho that I hope your wrong about them taking over spraying. I can think of more than several hundred folks that would be without a job if they do. 

I've not done a lot of spraying but I do know some instructions do give a total volume of spray per acre that would seem to make drone spraying impractical as lazy wp says.

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9 minutes ago, iowaboy1965 said:

Interesting,  I had never heard of drone spraying until you mentioned it recently. 

I will say somewhat semi selfishly tho that I hope your wrong about them taking over spraying. I can think of more than several hundred folks that would be without a job if they do. 

I've not done a lot of spraying but I do know some instructions do give a total volume of spray per acre that would seem to make drone spraying impractical as lazy wp says.

Here in Illinois where we are the fert and chem coops are so short of staff drones would be welcome.

Weeks out to spray, cant get fertilizer spread or tendered for 5 days,  all the rental buggies are junk as they do no maintenance.  And this after they just bought out about half the competition.   Still looking for workers part time with no benefits and not much over min wage wanting to work them 70 hours a week then lay them off.    I would think they would see that that business model isnt really working well right now...

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I can see them taking over the fungicide and insecticide only aerial applications. Like @Lazy WP said, most weed control programs are unreliable at less than 10gal/acre. I have seen some applications with good results at low rates, but not every time. For what you are doing, a drone sounds like just what is needed. Mud, tree stumps, wash outs, and other obstacles can all be obscured by the heavy undergrowth that usually accompanies crp acres. Right now the coverage and control of the ground sprayer is unmatched. It will be interesting to see where this technology goes in the future. Post the results if you can, I’d like to see them. 

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2 minutes ago, cjf711 said:

Here in Illinois where we are the fert and chem coops are so short of staff drones would be welcome.

Weeks out to spray, cant get fertilizer spread or tendered for 5 days,  all the rental buggies are junk as they do no maintenance.  And this after they just bought out about half the competition.   Still looking for workers part time with no benefits and not much over min wage wanting to work them 70 hours a week then lay them off.    I would think they would see that that business model isnt really working well right now...

Sounds like a management problem to some extent? 

The folks I speak of do have benefits and work hard all year long to produce those sprayers that the coops and bto's purchase every year.  Always 2 sides to any story. Some of these problems as to worker shortages touch on our current state of affairs in all industries nationwide right now. But to go deeper on that might be deemed a forbidden subject.

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50 minutes ago, Lazy WP said:

I have run a custom sprayer enough to say with good authority, that if CRP was decent to spray, it would still be in production. It doesn’t take many ruined tires or a tow bill from getting stuck to take all the profits out.

10 feet above leaves lots of area for wind to drift your chemicals. Most crop dusters are around that height. 

I think drones have a future in spraying, but I still have to question the low volume application. Way back when I first started working with the sprayer, I was told I could use 3 gallon of water per acre when applying Roundup. By the time I left, 10 years later, they were telling us that 15 gallon minimum and 20 was better. 

he said their concentration of chemical w/roundup is different allowing for the 1gal / acre, im not sure what else he uses in it i didnt ask if it was straight roundup but im guessing he uses other chems. 

you may be right on the drift and such also you have to have a very calm day to spray and yes CRP ground is rarely if ever maintained properly if you ask me. I have yet to find anyone besides myself that keeps the trees down and maintains it in my area. I mow several diff places and they dont want to spend the money it takes to do it right. They jsut want to collect their checks from the gov't. 

I mow it the way i mow it for a reason and if I am allowed mow small trees outside of the 1/3 requirement for maintenance. 

Spot spraying would be a lot more economical for drones also especially for brush i would think. 

I have never sprayed other than my own yard and pasture with small tank sprayers and they were not 10ft off teh ground either. I mainly sprayed 24d and had great luck with it at about a gal/acre also but there again low height, different chemical. 

you guys are far more schooled here im just a greenhorn - not sure about these 300 to 500K dollar spray rigs making it in our economy either that seems crazy but then so do a lot of other things right now. 

 

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5 hours ago, cjf711 said:

Here in Illinois where we are the fert and chem coops are so short of staff drones would be welcome.

Weeks out to spray, cant get fertilizer spread or tendered for 5 days,  all the rental buggies are junk as they do no maintenance.  And this after they just bought out about half the competition.   Still looking for workers part time with no benefits and not much over min wage wanting to work them 70 hours a week then lay them off.    I would think they would see that that business model isnt really working well right now...

To pay employees well and maintain/replace equipment coops/agronomy suppliers need to charge more for their services. Everyone is looking for the cheapest supplier, many operations have their own equipment now. Agronomy application is a terrible business to be in right now.

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My coop charged me 11.50 per acre last year+ chemicals.  I haven't received a bill for recent work done yet but I would imagine it went up a little.  Generally speaking we must have some of the cheapest custom rates around for ag.

The drone application is neat and will certainly have its place in the future.

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The drone thing troubles me only on the fact of volume applied. We have been told for years that fungicide needs 20 gal/acre. None of the fungicides are labeled to be used under 3 or 4 gallon/acre, most minimum is 10. It is illegal to use a chemical outside of the labeled rates. I am going to sit on the side lines on this one and wait to see how it plays out. 

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1 hour ago, JaredT said:

The drone thing troubles me only on the fact of volume applied. We have been told for years that fungicide needs 20 gal/acre. None of the fungicides are labeled to be used under 3 or 4 gallon/acre, most minimum is 10. It is illegal to use a chemical outside of the labeled rates. I am going to sit on the side lines on this one and wait to see how it plays out. 

i didnt ask about fungicides but im guessing in a case like this wtih his drones/size he would not be putting those down unless there are new things available or up/coming items - as with any technology you can bet companies are working on things to make better chems with reduced application rates and preparing for the future. 

21 hours ago, mmi said:

So the payload is +- 100#,

as in the Sikorsky HC was designed as they heavy lift work horse.

https://www.google.com/search?hl=en&gbv=2&q=sikorsky+helicopters&oq=sikorski+h&aqs=heirloom-srp.0.0l5

5.5 gal x about 8.5 lbs per gal ? so just shy of 50lbs - i guess the drone and battery etc....will put you up there over 100lbs total dont know which drone he is using - i found a 20liter drone and it weighs around 80lbs these are not toys 

https://talosdrones.com/product/dji-agras-t20-sprayer-drone/

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1 hour ago, searcyfarms said:

i didnt ask about fungicides but im guessing in a case like this wtih his drones/size he would not be putting those down unless there are new things available or up/coming items - as with any technology you can bet companies are working on things to make better chems with reduced application rates and preparing for the future. 

5.5 gal x about 8.5 lbs per gal ? so just shy of 50lbs - i guess the drone and battery etc....will put you up there over 100lbs total dont know which drone he is using - i found a 20liter drone and it weighs around 80lbs these are not toys 

https://talosdrones.com/product/dji-agras-t20-sprayer-drone/

I wonder who would insure them?  I would be afraid to wreck $13000 drone.

 

 

 

 

 

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10 minutes ago, hobbyfarm said:

I wonder who would insure them?  I would be afraid to wreck $13000 drone.

 

 

 

 

 

I just quoted an Agras T30 at 30-35k with all the support gizmos and training with assistance to get all permits, insurance and license.

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, cjf711 said:

I just quoted an Agras T30 at 30-35k with all the support gizmos and training with assistance to get all permits, insurance and license.

 

 

 

nice hopefully it works for you, its a new fresh market for people around here and gaining momentum quickly the guy i called is very busy but with being able to pre load gps and the smaller investment vs BIG expensive wheeled machines with certs/drivers/payroll it seems to have its place. Not sure how big but seemingly legit. He is able to work around weather quicker especially with heavy rains and waiting to dry out. Rotor wash he said was not a big issue minimal effect. I am sure most ins companies would insure drones crap you can buy insurance for your legs, arms, face, ( actors/dancers/models ) do it - you can buy it for your boat, motorcycle, tractor, skidsteer, trailer, bicycle, moped, airplane, etc..........im sure you can buy it - id be getting into that business if I was a drone retailer and use it as supplemental income - if anyone can fix/refurb/restore a broken unit reasonably priced it would be the builder and they could easily determine if its repairable or totaled. 

 

 

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29 minutes ago, searcyfarms said:

nice hopefully it works for you, its a new fresh market for people around here and gaining momentum quickly the guy i called is very busy but with being able to pre load gps and the smaller investment vs BIG expensive wheeled machines with certs/drivers/payroll it seems to have its place. Not sure how big but seemingly legit. He is able to work around weather quicker especially with heavy rains and waiting to dry out. Rotor wash he said was not a big issue minimal effect. I am sure most ins companies would insure drones crap you can buy insurance for your legs, arms, face, ( actors/dancers/models ) do it - you can buy it for your boat, motorcycle, tractor, skidsteer, trailer, bicycle, moped, airplane, etc..........im sure you can buy it - id be getting into that business if I was a drone retailer and use it as supplemental income - if anyone can fix/refurb/restore a broken unit reasonably priced it would be the builder and they could easily determine if its repairable or totaled. 

 

 

Unsure if we are plunging in on it,  I have a partner Im talking with on it.  We have experience with large survey grade drones though so its not totally foreign to us.

Seems like NOW is the time to get in this game,  possibly late to the party already.   Tomorrow is always too late!

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I want to say 10 years ago one of the new at the time fungicides they promoted for vineyard use would translocate through the leaf. But my boss like the tried and true loosing it effectiveness ones cause it was CHEAPER, but mix a little old old school sulfur and it did ok. So I never saw any of it and don't have a clue on the name. Prop wash was a good thing in some situations as I help get product on the underside of leaf's. So there maybe low volume fungicides waiting. But we used 50 GPA minimum up to 75 with a air blast sprayer. 

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19 hours ago, cjf711 said:

Unsure if we are plunging in on it,  I have a partner Im talking with on it.  We have experience with large survey grade drones though so its not totally foreign to us.

Seems like NOW is the time to get in this game,  possibly late to the party already.   Tomorrow is always too late!

sounds like a great fit for you guys i dont think its too late at all to get into this only one guy around our area doing it 

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