Some of the growers attending the Ceres Solutions Digital Tech Field Day came a long way with one goal in mind. They wanted to see a spraying drone in action. While it’s only one of many futuristic technologies on display, it’s attracted a lot of attention, in part because it’s a ready-made technology.
“Our plan is to offer custom drone spraying to customers by 2023,” said Matt Clark of Sears Solutions. Clark showed off the DJI T30 Spray Drone, sending it on spraying missions. Although it only sprayed water, the flights were realistic and demonstrated what the drone could do, Clark said.
This drone can spray up to 8 gallons, covering up to 29 feet wide. At an application rate of 2 gallons per acre, 4 acres can be sprayed per fill.
“We can change the batteries out and be up and running again in three minutes,” Clark said. The goal is to have multiple batteries and operate two drones in the field at the same time, he explained. He expects the technology to be ideal for customers with smaller, hard-to-reach fields and for spot-spray deployments.
Here are some other technologies that were highlighted at the field day:
Intelinair app. While Intelnair, now headquartered in Indianapolis, scouts for customers, it’s more than just a regular scout. A spokesperson describes their service as an automated source of crop information available for all seasons.
At the heart of the system are aerial flights over the customer’s field, often during the season, combined with automated software in a format called AgMRI. Not only can you see what’s happening, but you’ll receive alerts when there are problems and get in-depth information on each field.
At the Ceres Solutions field day, speakers demonstrated how to access data from a mobile app. The Intelinair mobile phone app is free for customers. Manage crops from anywhere, whenever it suits your schedule. Learn more at intelliair.com And agmri.com.
CropX soil moisture sensors. “We’ve had a lot installed in customer fields this year,” says Betty Bower, agronomist at Ceres Solutions. In fact, a CropX inspection was installed on the 2022 soybean viewing field. The grower relied on information from the survey to help make irrigation decisions.
“We typically install them 36 inches deep,” Bower explained. “The first sensor is 2 inches deep; then there are sensors every 4 inches.
Troy Jenkins, Ceres Solutions agronomist, says that in addition to measuring soil moisture, the products also measure soil salinity. In addition to installing sensors, agronomists work with customers, teaching them how to interpret data related to soil moisture. This includes understanding evapotranspiration and how it affects crops and soil moisture, and what field potential means. look up cropx.com.
Solinftec autonomous crop scout. Solinftec, with its US operations headquartered in West Lafayette, Ind., demonstrated its autonomous, robotic crop scout device at a field day. It travels through the field on solar power, collecting all kinds of data from stand counts to insect, disease and weed locations.
Leonardo Carvalho with Solinftec said the company announced the latest addition of a scouting robot at the 2022 Agricultural Progress Show. Now equipped with two 20-gallon spray tanks and a spray boom, he can spray weeds while rolling across the field.
This technology is now ready for the field. Carvalho expects to have 20 units in the Midwest and 10 more in Canada by 2023.