Wed | Sep 20, 2017

Hi-Pro introduces drone spraying to farms

Published:Wednesday | August 10, 2016 | 8:00 AM
The highly capable drone spraying a farm.

Hi-Pro has collaborated with Agrocaelum, a local drone company, to revolutionise the treatment of crops by bringing a new technology to the sector.

According to Adrian Haye, an executive of Agrocaelum, his company introduced the service to Hi-Pro in February of this year and Jamaica Broilers Group has been facilitating a series of demonstrations on farms across the island, including the Worthy Park Sugar Estate, where a pilot project is under way.

Haye explained that spraying by drones is more precise and effective than traditional methods and significantly more cost effective.

"We use the latest in technology to serve the farmer and boost production. We can apply crop-care products with a high degree of accuracy, thereby reducing waste of expensive chemicals and fertilisers. There is no ground compaction problem, that tractors can create, and we are able get on spot within hours of a farmer's request to apply the products to solve their problem. Our drone technology is safe and is operated by a trained and licensed pilot," said Haye.

He noted that one drone can spray 12 to 18 acres in an hour quietly, efficiently and with modern products that do not have the distinctive smell of traditional products.

 

TRADITIONAL METHODS

 

Haye explained that drone technology uses less chemicals than traditional methods and is suited for a wide range of applications.

Haye said further that in working in partnership with Hi-Pro, his company is able to offer a complete solution for many challenges, including aerial surveys.

"Using infrared sensor technology on board our drones, we can identify the need for fertiliser or chemicals, based on the infrared signature of crops, to determine the best solutions. We can do pre- and post-aerial surveys to locate the problem, apply the treatment and measure the results of our work, so the farmer can save money on chemicals, thereby minimising waste," he said.

"This partnership with Hi-Pro has great potential for improving the productivity and profitability of Jamaica's farming community and we look forward to using this technology to improve crop yield on the farms that we service," Haye noted.

A demonstration of the drone spraying capabilities took place at the recent Denbigh Agricultural, Industrial and Food Show; visitors to the Hi-Pro booth got additional information from the Agrocaelum team.