Agrodrones increase the yield of rapeseed. Results of the DroneUA practical conference

August 29, 2023
Практична конференція DroneUA: агродрони підвищують прибутковість ріпаку
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In the period of the active phase of development of one of the most marginal and strategically important crops - rapeseed, choosing the right strategy for processing crops is relevant. After all, proper care of this fastidious crop is a prerequisite for obtaining a high yield. Therefore, at the height of the season, the DroneUA group of companies held a practical conference "Increasing the profitability of rape with agricultural drones. Harvest 2023 without losses." The event took place on May 26 at the AgriLab International Center for Precision Agriculture in Boryspil District (Kyiv Region).

The event was attended by agricultural industry experts who shared their own experience of growing rapeseed with proven and effective protection technology, in particular, with the use of agro-drones.


Today, robotics in agricultural production is not only innovative technologies that simplify and speed up operations. It is an irreplaceable tool for growing the maximum harvest at minimum costs. Resource saving is a requirement of time. Therefore, currently Ukrainian farmers are in critical need of agricultural drones. Integrating them into crop protection provides an effective technology of pesticide application and the most careful care of the culture. This is especially relevant for rapeseed, which is very sensitive to losses. Last year's experience demonstrated the demand for this crop on the agricultural market and the prospects for its export to Europe.

According to Ihor Garo, the head of the selection and variety testing department of the DSV Ukraine company, the global production of rapeseed in 2022/23 is forecast at the level of 76.2 million tons. However, it is worth bearing in mind that rape seeding can suffer significant losses due to various stresses:

  • loss of plants;
  • loss of leaves;
  • bud reduction;
  • reduction of leaf area;
  • reduction of pollination;
  • falling flowers;
  • seed reduction;
  • cracking pods.


    Significant losses in rapeseed cultivation occur due to diseases and pests. In order to avoid this, it is necessary to perform all operations for the care and protection of crops in a timely and correct manner. However, in the case of processing fields with traditional wheeled machinery, farmers face such problems as trampling of crops (up to 10% of the productive area) and soil compaction, which reduces the availability of nutrients even when they are high in the soil, and ultimately reduces the yield of crops by at least 20% . The use of agricultural drones allows you to avoid all these problems and at the same time spend less money.

    Application of growth regulators, adhesives and desiccants by agrodrones

    In order for winter rapeseed to enter the winter in the right phase of development (not overgrown and not killed), growth regulators are used. They are also necessary in the spring to prevent rapid growth and seeding of crops. In order to carry out these operations as efficiently as possible and to preserve the high quality of the crop, it is advisable to use agricultural drones.

    However, often at the time of harvest, rapeseed plants have different levels of ripeness. During the ripening of the seeds of the upper tier, the pods of the lower tier crack and the seeds spill out onto the ground. If you expect full ripening of the seeds, losses under adverse weather conditions can reach 50% of the harvest or more.

    For premature cracking of the pods, it is necessary to apply an adhesive that creates a polymer membrane that is not washed away by rain and prevents cracking and shedding of seeds. The film is very elastic and can stretch as the pod grows. When using the drug, the seeds in the pods ripen evenly within two weeks, after which harvesting can be done.


    The optimal moisture content of seeds for threshing is 10-13% or 12-14%. When harvesting with a seed moisture content of more than 14%, costs for its drying increase significantly, while the quality of the oil deteriorates. Therefore, before the harvest, it is advisable to carry out desiccation of crops, which will dry the crop, allow to collect the crop faster and with a lower level of humidity. The optimal phase for desiccation is browning of 70% of rapeseed pods, at this stage the pods are able to bend into a ring around a finger without cracking.

    Due to the risk of significant losses from the operation of traditional sprayers, it is better to perform desiccation with the help of agricultural drones. The lack of physical contact with the culture makes losses from trampling and shedding impossible. The experience of service companies and agricultural enterprises has shown the effectiveness of the XAG V40 agricultural drone model.


    The experience of the service company in the implementation of applications by spraying drones

    According to the practical experience of the company Tyten Machinery Ukraine, which conducted its own experiments and compared the introduction of PPE with a self-propelled sprayer and XAG V40 drones, the main advantages of agricultural drones are:

    • free planning: no need to wait for the overmoistened soil to dry;
    • simple processing of a field with complex terrain;
    • simplified work with hard-to-reach fields - the UAV does not need access to the field
    • local processing - now problem areas in the middle of the field become easily accessible;
    • positive effect with fields of a small area and fields that are logistically distant;
    • there are no restrictions on water quality thanks to the design advantages of atomizers;
    • reduction of water consumption: 0.3-10 l/ha;
    • treatment of crops without restrictions on standing height: according to average data, 30% of crops require spraying in the high phase.



      Зважаючи на перспективність технології внесення ЗЗР агродронами, минулого року в Україні було розроблено й презентовано вітчизняний стартап - спеціалізовану онлайн-платформу FarmFleet, що пропонує рішення для агровиробників та сервісних компаній, об’єднуючи потреби у виконанні агрооперацій та технічні можливості їх задоволення із залученням зовнішніх виконавців. FarmFleet розширює можливості аграріїв щодо проведення операцій вчасно та якісно в умовах мінливості погоди, обмежених ресурсів та сезонних пікових періодів. Завдяки цьому аграрії можуть концентруватися на підвищенні ефективності кожного гектара, не витрачаючи час на пошук ресурсів та адміністрування.

      In the design of atomizers, disks rotating with an extremely high frequency are used. Since the liquid enters such nozzles immediately after leaving the tank, there is no obstacle or constriction on its way to spraying. This, together with the rapid rotation of the discs inside the nozzles themselves, allows even liquid with the thickness of jelly to pass through them, spraying it onto the plants with precisely defined droplet sizes. There is no such possibility in traditional ground sprayers - atomizer nozzles are a patented technology of the world manufacturer of agrodrones XAG and a new trend precisely in spraying plants during ultra-small application of drugs. Both parameters — the speed of flying over the plants and the size of the drops of the sprayed solution when using sprayer drones can be changed dynamically during processing.

      The main advantages of XAG sprayer drones, which allow them to compete with ground self-propelled machines, are:

      • High productivity: the most powerful agricultural drone XAG P100 is capable of processing up to 300 hectares per shift.
      • Ultra-low-volume application by drone sprayer requires 40 times less water than a traditional sprayer, thanks to a discharge rate of 5 l/ha instead of 200 l/ha.
      • Reduced use of pesticides due to more effective application (dense coverage of the plant, absorption occurs very quickly). The saving of the drug reaches 30-40%.
      • Exclusion of soil compaction, which reduces crop yield by at least 20%.
      • No damage to crops by the wheels of ground sprayers (+5-10% to the harvest).
      • A sprayer drone (for example, XAG P100) without additional equipment is 22 times cheaper than a self-propelled sprayer, which has a price of $230-250 thousand.
      • One drone can cover all the needs for the processing of farm fields with a land bank of 2-4 thousand hectares.
      • The possibility of a flight height of 1.5-5 m allows you to carry out agrotechnical measures in biologically favorable terms and to observe optimal periods of feeding in difficult meteorological conditions.

      Development of the market for the provision of service services by spraying drones

      Taking into account the promising technology of agricultural drone application, last year a domestic startup was developed and presented in Ukraine - a specialized online platform FarmFleet, which offers solutions for agricultural producers and service companies, combining the needs of agricultural operations and the technical possibilities of their satisfaction with the involvement of external contractors . FarmFleet expands the capabilities of farmers to conduct operations on time and with quality in conditions of variable weather, limited resources and seasonal peak periods. Thanks to this, farmers can concentrate on increasing the efficiency of each hectare, without spending time on the search for resources and administration.




      During the practical conference, FarmFleet co-founder Volodymyr Haplik reported on the expansion of the functionality of this project. This year, FarmFleet started applying pesticides and fertilizers with drone sprayers on farmers’ fields with its own service team:

      • 8 brigades with a powerful fleet of XAG V40 spraying drones;
      • productivity potential – more than 1000 hectares per day.

      Obtaining permits for introduction of PPE by agricultural drones

      The technology of application of agricultural drones helps to significantly save resources, which increases the profitability of farms, strengthens the economy of Ukraine and contributes to the increase of food security in the world. Therefore, the possibility of using agricultural drones is the main task of the agricultural community for the current season. It is necessary to develop a single mechanism for obtaining permits, which will simplify and speed up the process of introducing pesticides by drones and help Ukrainian farmers grow the maximum harvest. Last year, such a mechanism was worked out between the Ministry of Agrarian Policy and the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine, thanks to which agricultural drones could fly and the season took place.




      "We have already held several meetings with the specialized association UKAB and the Ministry of Agrarian Policy of Ukraine regarding the re-development of a single mechanism for obtaining permits for work by agricultural producers and service companies using agro-drones. We are currently working on involving the military in discussing the possibility of working with agricultural drones in the 2023 season for the timely implementation of crop protection, obtaining the planned yield of crops and supporting the economy of Ukraine and food security of the world", - XAG brand manager, Volodymyr Ohiychuk.

      Hands-on demonstration of XAG's unmanned solutions

      During the practical conference, DroneUA drone operators demonstrated XAG spraying drones in action. In particular, the participants had the opportunity to see how to set up and connect equipment, create a flight mission, how agricultural drones work along a clearly defined trajectory and bypass imaginary obstacles. Then the pilot trainers consulted the farmers on all the technical questions that interested them.

      At the end, the event participants shared their impressions and forecasts for the 2023 season. The mood is optimistic, we are working on growing a winning crop!






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      DroneUA is an international system integrator of unmanned solutions and robotics.

      On the market of Ukraine and Eastern Europe, the DroneUA group of companies is the largest importer and distributor of leading drone manufacturers in the world and represents technological solutions from the brands XAG, EcoFlow, Pix4D, Parrot, Chasing, DroneDeploy, AgroCares and others.

      The group of companies has its own engineering, production and service divisions, as well as an open data processing center. Technological solutions presented by DroneUA are used on more than 4 million hectares of cultivated areas of Ukraine. According to the results of the 2021 and 2022 agricultural seasons, more than 2.2 million hectares were protected with drone sprayers from DroneUA.

      DroneUA is among the top three most innovative businesses in the agricultural sector of Ukraine according to FORBES and among the twenty most innovative enterprises of Ukraine.

      The group of companies continues to expand the list of technological brands that it presents on the Ukrainian market, and is active in agriculture, the oil and gas industry, as well as in the fields of energy, geodesy and topography.

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