Richard D. L. Fulton
A new agricultural business has been established, based in Smithsburg, Maryland, that specializes in drones that may be programmed to distribute various applications to fields, replacing more traditional means of applying chemicals or other compounds to crops.
The company, Accurate Ag Spraying (AAS), offers various types of agricultural drones (designated as sprayer drones) that are designed according to the needs of the purchaser.
According to AAS’s website, the company is “the Mid Atlantic’s premier drone dealer,” and can offer drone support and shipping to Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Delaware. “Our supplier (DJI) is a leader in drone technology and provides the highest guarantee in operation. The drones we sell are meant to be used for the agricultural industry. We provide training, servicing, and support for all of our products.”
According to AAS, all of their sprayer drones feature “intuitive” software and controls for both manual operation and fully autonomous operation. “Our drones will not only fly but spray and/or spread completely by themselves.”
The drones can be programmed to perform the desired application task by inputting the boundaries and parameters of the field to which the application is to be made. “Boundaries can be imported from shape files, or manually, created on the remote,” the company states.
The company’s agricultural drones can handle liquid and granular products. Typical liquid applications include fungicides, insecticides, foliar fertilizers, and herbicides, while granular applications typically include broadcast cover crops and fertilizers. Broadcasting cover crops represents a faster way of sowing, as opposed to placing seeds individually.
Depending on the model of a drone, Accurate Ag Spraying’s drones can apply 0.25 to 15 gallons per acre of liquid product and 3 to 300 pounds per acre of granular product. The company states that the low-volume rates (typically 2 gallons per acre) are the most commonly used.
During manual flight, a drone can fly up to 33 feet per second, or 22.5 miles per hour. Automated operation allows speeds up to 23 feet per second or 15.5 miles per hour. “At this speed,” the company states, “our drones can still follow slopes up to 30 degrees, while sensing obstacles in their flight path.”
For an example of weight and recharging rates, the DJI T30 model drone (rated as one of the best agricultural drones by talosdrones.com) weighs 58 pounds when empty and 168 pounds when fully loaded and features “specially built batteries designed to charge extremely fast without overheating, even in hot summer conditions.”
AAS states, “With the correct setup, batteries will charge as fast or faster than the drone is able to deplete them. This means you can operate nonstop by simply swapping batteries when the drone comes back to refill.”
Each of the drones AAS offers have First Person View (FPV) cameras “designed to provide the operator with a live view on the controller screen… FPV cameras support up to a two-mile range, which is extremely useful when spot-spraying weeds.”
The T30 also comes equipped with industry-leading obstacle avoidance, utilizing digital beam forming (DBF) radar, which can sense obstacles as small as one centimeter in diameter, causing the drone to either stop and alert the operator or automatically fly around the obstacle.
AAS will also provide customers with resources to assist in the licensing process. Resources include free study guides and access to one of the nation’s leading drone regulations consultants and a leading drone insurance provider. Licenses and certifications will also be needed to legally operate a sprayer drone in the United States.
In addition to sales and post-purchase customer support (including troubleshooting, diagnostics, and repairs), AAS also offers a repair service, licensing and certification assistance, and can recommend licensed applicators that provide liquid and granular applications.
AAS, located at 14254 Ridenour Road in Smithsburg, may be contacted by phone by calling 833-305-3607, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Business hours are Monday through Friday, from 8:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m., and is closed on Saturdays and Sundays.
For additional information, visit the company website at accurateagspraying.com.
Drone flying over crops.
Photo Courtesy of Accurate Ag Spraying