Agricultural Drones Reduce Chemical Need

by Felildh Dwyer

A South African farmer is toting the use of drones in helping her achieve a 30 percent reduction in the amount
of pesticide she uses on her farm. Jean Kuiper from Capetown has instituted a system at Rosenhof Organic Farm using Aerobotics‘ aerial data and claims it has changed the way she farms. Aerobotics uses drone and satellite imagery to achieve early pest and disease detection. Aeroview, a cloudbased app has the ability to measure individual plant and trees health, height and volume. Using the app, an individual can direct a drone to fly a certain route and inspect crops from above.

Kuiper told Cape Business News that the information gathered using Aerobotics was invaluable for farmers. [The Farmer] knows that orchard has a particular problem and sprays accordingly. He doesn’t just go and spray the whole lot, he sprays what he needs, and immediately he will drop his chemical input by 30percent. That’s our experience on the farm,” said Kuiper. She expressed concern about the amount of pesticides we use on our farms which she said were detrimental to plants, bad for human health and also killed or scared away helpful bugs that are beneficial to crops. “We need to improve soil health to improve human health and the less chemicals we use, the less toxic we make it,” she said.

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