The day is near – Or it may be already here! The ability to use unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV’s) to automatically spray crop fields is now available to modern farmers in Canada. There have been multiple spraying units made by a Swift Current-based RotorSpray company, built and Designed by Saskatchewan’s very own Monty Allan!
UAV’s have already been being used in Japan for spraying small fields, but RotorSpray’s current technology takes it a step further. These machines are well suited for controlling mosquito population and spot spraying weeds on farms that are inaccessible for large field sprayers. They also work well for oddly shaped fields and wet areas that would have spots that are inaccessible to normal sprayers. An added bonus for farmers that have patches of weeds that are not very big; now they don’t have to bother spraying the whole field – the UAV can do it within seconds!
The largest UAV that RotorSpray has made is a 12 liter tank and can spray just under 1.5 acres, depending on concentration, application rate and battery life. Once the UAV has the flight plan uploaded, it gets to work out in the field! Not only does it spray all on its own, the UAV will come back and land to change battery and refill tank.
RotorSpray sells the units for approximately $7500 which is comparable to an ATV and a fraction of the cost of high clearance sprayer.
Do you see value in Unmanned Aerial Vehicles? Is it worth the price and the time it takes to learn the new technology? Let us know your thoughts!