Every day, drones are used to make people’s lives easier. They have a number of applications across dozens of industries, and are used to make tasks more time efficient, financially efficient, and in some cases, to save lives. Drone’s have the capability to change how we work for the better. To put it simply - drones are tools, not toys.
DJI Agriculture has been encouraging partners to conduct case studies using the DJI Agras. Case studies are clear ways to showcase the capabilities of drone applications in the real world and promote further solutions.
This case study offers insight into the world of agricultural drone applications. Here’s how the DJI Agras T16 was used by Agrodron to spray apples in Serbia.
Within the last decade, apple production has risen to the fastest growing agribusiness in all of agriculture. In Serbia, apple production has traditionally been successful; exporting most of their 50-70 ton yield per hectare to Russia and the EU.
In order to achieve best quality and yields, all technical measures were applied. Fruit thinning is one measure that can be performed by drones. Fruit thinning is a process of removing excess fruit to improve fruit size and quality. Most commonly apples need to be thinned to avoid overcropping.
In agriculture this is most typically done with the use of chemicals. In this circumstance commercial chemicals Brevis and Exilis were sprayed. Selection, dosages and timing of application have been based on a substantial experience during the past decades.
It's critical for climate parameters and chemical dosage to be monitored at all times which is much easier done with a drone. Drone spraying application in this situation proved to be advantageous in effectively targeting top and middle areas of fruit branches.
This was able to be achieved by prior geodetic and multispectral scanning of the orchard using the DJI Matrice RTK. To ensure no thin objects were in the flight path a radar-based altitude and calibration point orientation with operation supervision was necessary. Sections and calibration points were defined in DJI Terra “Field” mode.
Although there were operational challenges, spraying operations were performed much more accurately and faster. This was due to the drones potential to abruptly stop, vary spray path and rate, and continue spraying which otherwise could not be achieved with a traditional machine.
The main advantage of drone treatment was its ultra-precise application capabilities, avoiding contact of non-tolerant clones with non-adequate indegratients. This was critical because different clones required different treatment every four rows. If fruits are improperly dossed they will all drop or result in poor quality. Considerable benefits in logistics and efficiency were noted as well.
“DJI Agras T16 homogenous spraying density was a great benefit in this application, so we find that this task could hardly be accomplished with drones of previous generous (without airflow consistency). Therefore this challenging spraying mission was performed with top quality and precision, what was unachievable until advent of T generation spraying drones.” - Agrodron.
This case study highlights how fruit number reduction was successfully achieved using DJI drone technology.
Please reach out to us at Empire Drone, with any questions about agricultural drones or applications.