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Drone technology useful in small fields

An educator says using drones to manage crops is getting easier with new advances in drone technology.

Sean Creviston

Sean Creviston with Chippewa Valley Technical College in Eau Claire, Wisconsin tells Brownfield the ability to take images and spray crops makes drones especially useful on small acreage.

Creviston says good photographs can be captured with drones above the $500 dollar range but, “If you want to get into the plant health analysis or the spray drones, they could range from five to eight thousand for the multi-spectral drones and then fifteen to forty thousand for the spray drones. I depends on what features you want.”

And along with having access to wet crop areas, he says growers can recoup their investment. “Fifteen to forty thousand dollars might sound like quite a bit but with the amount of chemical you can save by using variable rate spray drones, you can offset that cost in a relatively decent manner.”

Creviston says drone pilots need a license from the Federal Aviation Administration, but also a second license if the drone weighs more than 50 pounds, such as a large sprayer.

Creviston spoke to Brownfield during the Wisconsin Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Conference in Wisconsin Dells Monday.

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