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Droneseed - seeding 40 acres a day with drones.

KiwiBro

KiwiBro

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Saw this on TV earlier today and wondered how much of it is going on over there?

One operator controls 15 drones flying a grid pattern, with each drone finding best place to drop the seeds. I went to the site to learn more
https://www.droneseed.com/

where they say they are doing 40 acres a day. Not sure how the survival rates differ from humans planting out seedlings but even if way lower, it sure covers some ground, quickly. How it'd go in hilly terrain might be interesting. I guess the drone operator just walks the ridge lines?

Heck of a quick way to recover from wildfires or generally replant?
 
madhatte

madhatte

It's The Water
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It could work? It could also be a waste of seed? Also on our ground we're not allowed to fly drones, which we investigated awhile ago because we wanted to fly for LiDAR. There's definitely potential there but plenty of hurdles left to be overcome.
 
KiwiBro

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Why the ban on drone LiDAR surveying the land? Seems like a perfect way to do it. Our govt is throwing good money at it for better surveying of our lands.

Even with hand-planted seedlings weeds can be a problem here. I wonder if droneseed do a follow-up seeding over the same ground a year later.
Also, if they do a pre-seeding weed spray to give the seeds a fighting chance.

I wonder how they'd go with grass seeding of paddocks. Whether they could actually do it with such a small, lightweight seed, and how well the grass seeds would take if not drilled/poked into the ground. But if it could work it would be great to reseed dairy farms in a week instead of rolling the tractor over it for a month or more.

In some areas we have a massive wilding pine problem. I wonder if drones spot spraying early on rather than a chopper nuking the lot later on is the cheaper way to go. The cost of the chopper option is one reason why it's left so late. Perhaps if drones are much cheaper, land owners would get onto it sooner - pinch in time saving nine.
 
madhatte

madhatte

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Why the ban on drone LiDAR surveying the land? Seems like a perfect way to do it.
I work on a military base. Controlled airspace. Outside of the fence, the rules are different.

I doubt drones will be a pesticide application option any time soon because water is so heavy. Seed, though, seems a definite maybe.
 
KiwiBro

KiwiBro

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I work on a military base. Controlled airspace. Outside of the fence, the rules are different.

I doubt drones will be a pesticide application option any time soon because water is so heavy. Seed, though, seems a definite maybe.
Doing a bit more research, mapping an area can happen at something like 150 acres per 15 minutes - the drone is going at 40mph!
With that done the areas to spot spray are mapped and locked in.
Then spot spraying done autonomously.
Even if we take a full rather than spot spray, in a rice crop experiment, it's about 15 acres per hour. By boom on a tractor it's slightly more.
 
madhatte

madhatte

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Interesting. We do most of our herbicide treatment in clearcuts, towing a spray rig behind an Argo ATV. It's slow (~1ac/hr) and hard on equipment. 15 ac/hr would be awesome. Hopefully we get some clarification regarding low-altitude airspace such that we can try this kind of application.
 
Westboastfaller

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Arial spraying has been going on since 1947 in Canada. I went to school with a guy that went back to Manitoba? or Ontario? and they harnessed under each wing with spray wands.

Drones have only reasonably been approved there but it's said it has been going on in many Countries. The one in design in Canada ( U7AG) Can spray 150 acres per/h at 2 gallons per...
or 100 acres at 4 gallons per...
About 72 mph (120 km/h)
https://www.realagriculture.com › ...
Web results
Forward Robotics' U7AG: a drone to spray large Canadian farms ...

They have tried about everything for dropping trees (plugs) with weighted point tips (I was told) to mechanical planting, to slash burning to pop the seeds from the cones...They say you can't beat the old planting shovel.
When they dropped them with planes there was no consistency. The concentration or there lack off, can be due to numerous different things and not the drop rate.
When they are hand planted then a checker will do 'pay plots' at a rate 1per hectare Either I/100 ha or .5/100 in size.
The main things with annual plugs is the density, the right species in the right place and that they are planted in mineral soil.. And not in the duff.
After fire then they can often come back way to dense. I have thinned after wildland fires that had 30 trees per 1 m2.
300,000 stems per ha.
 
Skeans

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I work on a military base. Controlled airspace. Outside of the fence, the rules are different.

I doubt drones will be a pesticide application option any time soon because water is so heavy. Seed, though, seems a definite maybe.
They do spraying with drones down in the valley a decent amount.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 
KiwiBro

KiwiBro

Mill 'em, nails be damned.
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Arial spraying has been going on since 1947 in Canada. I went to school with a guy that went back to Manitoba? or Ontario? and they harnessed under each wing with spray wands.

Drones have only reasonably been approved there but it's said it has been going on in many Countries. The one in design in Canada ( U7AG) Can spray 150 acres per/h at 2 gallons per...
or 100 acres at 4 gallons per...
About 72 mph (120 km/h)
https://www.realagriculture.com › ...
Web results
Forward Robotics' U7AG: a drone to spray large Canadian farms ...

They have tried about everything for dropping trees (plugs) with weighted point tips (I was told) to mechanical planting, to slash burning to pop the seeds from the cones...They say you can't beat the old planting shovel.
When they dropped them with planes there was no consistency. The concentration or there lack off, can be due to numerous different things and not the drop rate.
When they are hand planted then a checker will do 'pay plots' at a rate 1per hectare Either I/100 ha or .5/100 in size.
The main things with annual plugs is the density, the right species in the right place and that they are planted in mineral soil.. And not in the duff.
After fire then they can often come back way to dense. I have thinned after wildland fires that had 30 trees per 1 m2.
300,000 stems per ha.
Thanks. That's serious performance.
Cost of about $50k seems do-able for contractors and larger farms but I'm not sure how many would want to be early adopters at that sort of cost. perhaps best to sit back and see it prove itself in real world usage over time.
https://www.forwardrobotics.com/u7ag


There looks to be a fair bit of work being done to get the right sensors and algorithms to map different soil types by drone, so perhaps at some point in that not too distant future they could plug in the species type and the drone can map the area for the best spots to feed to the flight controller for the seeding?
 
madhatte

madhatte

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After fire then they can often come back way to dense. I have thinned after wildland fires that had 30 trees per 1 m2.
I've cruised young hemlock stands like that. It's more swimming than walking.

There looks to be a fair bit of work being done to get the right sensors and algorithms to map different soil types by drone, so perhaps at some point in that not too distant future they could plug in the species type and the drone can map the area for the best spots to feed to the flight controller for the seeding?
If we can ever get approval for the airspace use, that's exactly the sort of thing I think we'd do. We already have the soil maps and the site prep maps so much of the heavy lifting is done.
 
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