DJI Drones replace ground spraying outfits during long wet winter

It’s ideal timing for the launch of higher carrying capacity DJI drone sprayers as ground conditions delay regular spray operations

Latest release DJI drones are being added into major ground spraying operations as they can be applied with great success to spray areas previously difficult or impossible to access

With wet conditions making it impossible to access some urgent spray applications, contractors are beginning to add drone sprayers to their machinery arsenal.

With the latest release DJI drones offering greater carrying capacity, this particular brand is benefitting from contractors adding a drone into their operation for the first time.

Jobs that were impossible to access have already been attended to, with great relief from farmers, and now contractors are using their newly purchased drones to check on their overall ground spraying operation, getting in before the farmer tells them they have missed some areas close to fences or on headlands.

And while busy ground spraying contracting and large-scale farm operations are not giving up their ground sprayers anytime soon, these DJI drones with carrying capacities up to 30 litres could be used in swarming operation to cover as much treat up 20ha an hour for each drone in uninterrupted pre-set runs.

Add ten drones to the swarm operation and 200ha is covered in just one hour, in a location that may be impossible for a ground crew to reach due to terrain or weather conditions.

DJI drones with added product carrying capacity up to 30-litres are proving to be an ideal precision spraying platform for orchards and vineyards where the spray pattern can be altered for ideal canopy spraying

In the hands of a more experienced operator such as Scott Fisher from Skytech Solutions, a veteran operator who started in what was a fledging industry just four years ago, and now solely sprays using DJI drones the quality of coverage can increase exponentially.

With just two T30 drones in an operation, Scott says he can conservatively plan to cover any task at a rate of 100ha a day, and accurately from one to 1.5km away from the base station.

Today Scott runs a successful drone spraying contracting and sales business and helps train farmers on ways to use a drone. See more about Scott’s operation in an exclusive interview on this link, Rise of the Drones.

And while the need will continue for specialist spray operators such as Scott, drones are at the beginning of being a vital link between large ground spraying operations who can now tick off every spot across a specific farm application.

It’s the next exciting era for drones as ground contractors realise, they can now get access to previous impenetrable locations across their application area where it has been unsafe to operate ground machinery.

In addition, these latest release DJI models open up the possibility of farmers operating their own drones in select areas across their farm, in a time frame when the application is needed, without waiting for outside assistance.

The Operator from up to 5km away has a clear front and rear view of the terrain at all times through dual FPV cameras with the advantage of doubling to searchlights for night vision capability

This was also the thinking behind the Wyndham City Council setting up a trial using a latest release Agras T10 to spot spray artichoke thistles on 24ha of the Wyndham Grasslands Reserve near Lara Vic.

The drone was programmed to alternatively blanket spray or spot spray the area after a specialised mapping drone with a high-resolution camera mapped the position of the weeds.

This meant only the infested areas were targeted and as a result the operator confirmed there was a 45% saving in herbicides compared to the previous spray method, and the artichoke thistles were successfully controlled.

For many contractors and single use operators, all they have to get right is what model to choose, before their great adventure with drones begins, see our previous story on this link, drones for farm applications.

The two drones that have captured the most attention in 2022 have been the DJI Agras T30 that sports a 30-litre liquid capacity or 40kg of fertiliser, and the smaller sibling Agras T10 with a 10-litre product carrying capacity.

Farmers and local councils are choosing the T10 as they don’t need a licence to operate across their own property, while the T30 requires a certificate to operator, but not a daunting task to achieve as most that go through the process relay.

The DJI platform uses an AI recognition system to patrol through paddocks and monitor farm conditions efficiently

Performance another factor

DJI Agras drones are battery powered and their carbon fibre fuselage build is lightweight but also strong to withstand minor mishaps. With its key-lock arm design folding struss the drone folds to 80% of its flight size for transport.

The Dji Agras T30 weighs in at just 26.6kg without a battery, while the T10 weighs just 13kg.

The DJI Agras T30 is currently the flagship model with the most accurate and highest capacity from 16 spray nozzle positions that offer very effective canopy penetration and a spray pattern out to 9m when required.

Across broadacres running at standard speed the T30 is able to cover up to 16ha/hour (40-acres/hour), with an output of 8-litres/minute.

The Agras T30 excels when it comes to spreading with a product carrying capacity of 40-litres and a spreading width of up to 7 metres and an hourly spreading capacity of 1-tonne.

The DJI Agras T30’s updated spreading system 3.0 has a capacity of 40kg with a flow rate up to 50kg per minute

And while the DJI Agras T10 uses the same digital technology this model is designed for smaller applications with an 8-litre spray tank capacity.

The T10 comes standard with four pressure nozzles that allows a spray width out to 5m with an output of 2.4-litres/minute. The T10 is able to cover up to 6ha/hour (15-acres/hour).

The Agras T10 can also be switched to spreading in just three minutes with a product carrying capacity of 8-litres of liquid. This supports a spreading width of up to 7 metres and spreading coverage of 5.7ha/hour (14-acres/hour).

The spreading system supports real-time weight monitoring with an anti-rotation sensor that alerts the operator when a refill is required.

An updated remote controller supports stable image transmission from a base station set-up 5km away from the work zone, a 67% increase over the previous generation.

An updated remote controller for the T30 supports stable image transmission from up to 5km away, while a 140mm (5.5-inch) bright screen delivers a clear view.

While a bright 140mm (5.5-inch screen delivers clear visuals, even in harsh lighting conditions, and the set-up allows one remote control operator to manage multiple drones at once.

The charging station and smart charging hub can charge a battery in 10 minutes, allowing for continuous operation with just two batteries and one charger. The standard safety box helps ensure battery safety and easy equipment storage.

DJI Agras T30 and T10 models represent the latest development in agriculture drones for on-farm solutions, with over 50,000 Agras drones been sold worldwide. Prices for these models start from $27,999.

For more information on where the T30 and T10 is available in your region, contact local distributor CR Kennedy on tel: 03 9823 1533, email: sales@crkennedy.com.au or see the full range at: https://survey.crkennedy.com.au/uav/agricultural-solutions