Drones in agriculture: a complete transformation of business. We share the results of the webinar

August 29, 2023
Дрони в агро: повна трансформація бізнесу. Ділимося підсумками вебінару
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At the end of last week, DroneUA held an expert webinar "Drones in agriculture: a complete transformation of business." The event was attended by representatives of leading companies in the field of plant protection products, service and agricultural production.

During two hours, the participants of the event learned the answers to the most pressing questions in the field of agricultural drones. The webinar was started by the co-founder of the DroneUA company, Valery Yakovenko. In his report, he shared the results of the 2022 season and talked about plans for next year. Thus, according to Valery, despite the difficult conditions of farming, this year the demand for the services of application of agricultural drones by agricultural drones did not decrease, but on the contrary - increased. This is primarily due to the lack of resources for the cultivation of crops according to classical technology, as well as the impossibility of working with ground machinery in certain regions. Thanks to sprayer drones, in 2022 Ukraine became one of the leaders in terms of the intensity of use of agricultural drones in agriculture and cultivated about 2 million hectares.

Ivan Grechkivskyi, the owner of the Family Garden company, told how agro-drones saved the future crop of organic blueberries after the de-occupation of Kyiv region. In the spring, the farmer turned to DroneUA for help, and the company carried out the first spring fertilization right there.

"For our farm, agricultural drones became the only saving solution, thanks to which the company was able to spend the 2022 season and harvest. After the deoccupation of the Kyiv region, it was too risky to enter the plantation with land vehicles. That is why we turned to DroneUA for help. The company agreed to help, and it was there that it conducted the first application of PPE by drones in wartime conditions, making every effort to protect the plantations in time. What impressed me the most is that we used to do application with all our equipment, and it took us from a week to two, depending on the weather conditions, on the substances we had to apply, the guys with the drones were able to do all this in a few days", - the owner of the farm shares his memories.

After talking with the farmers, representatives of the agricultural production companies joined the webinar. Serhiy Radchuk and Mykola Stepanenko, regional technical experts of Syngenta Ukraine, shared the results of two-year trials of application of the brand's products by agro-drones on classic crops - rapeseed, corn and sunflower, and in apple orchards. Thus, the experts talked about the main methods and application parameters that they studied during the application of pesticides by drones. The company's representatives demonstrated the coverage and effectiveness of UAV drug spraying in a litmus paper presentation. According to technical experts, drones have worked effectively on different types of crops, covering the entire leaf area. In addition, as Serhiy Radchuk and Mykola Stepanenko noted in their speeches, despite the challenges that arise when working with agricultural drones, in the next season it is planned to carry out new research and testing of new products and software to increase the efficiency of drone application.

Serhiy Bogomaz, head of the agronomic service and technical marketing department of the "Agrochemical Technologies" brand, joined the webinar next. The experts noted that they have also been researching the effectiveness of the technology of introducing PPE by drones for more than 2 seasons. According to the agronomist, the company has three main areas of research that raise the most questions about efficiency, due to their technological complexity. Among them is the introduction of soil and insurance herbicides, as well as the introduction of fungicides on the ear. Serhii Bogomaz also noted that the plans for 2023 include self-developed methodical materials on the introduction of PPE by drones, based on the conducted research.

During the webinar, special attention was paid to the professionalism of service teams or specialists engaged in the maintenance of agricultural drones in farms. So, Yaroslav Fedoryshyn, co-founder of the service company DronAgronom, said that having a drone in the farm is not enough for it to help increase its efficiency.

"Agrodrones are a business that needs development. It is not enough just to buy a drone. It is important to delve into the topic, be interested in developing, be able to service agrodrones and increase your professionalism. In order for agricultural drones to really work for the benefit of your farm, you need high-quality training of specialists and interest in development in this field, this is important today," Yaroslav Fedoryshyn notes.

The expert also emphasized that it is better and economically more profitable for large farms to apply for the services of a professional service team, which will be able to completely complete the entire volume of work required on crops in a clear time frame. Companies that provide services for the application of PPE by drones not only save the time resources of the company, but also protect against the appearance of possible risks, including the incompetence of specialists and unsettled market relations between the agricultural producer and the service team.

Valery Yakovenko told about where farmers should look for free resources for applying PPE with drones, and where drone owners should find orders. In his report, he talked about an AgTech startup - FarmFleet, developed in wartime. FarmFleet is an innovative online platform, the functionality of which allows you to plan all technological operations in the fields, search and find customers/contractors for the provision of drone cropping services, as well as conduct online digital document management.

"The FarmFleet project is a Ukrainian development, but its ambitions and vision are global. That is, the product plans to cover foreign markets and enter them already. The FarmFleet product is created for the management of service companies, and one of the target markets is the USA, and we are already confidently moving to enter this market. For example, Oleksandr Khizhnyak and Volodymyr Haplik, co-founders of the FarmFleet platform, held a number of business meetings in the US during the last month, during which they presented the AgTech startup and have already gained some experience based on these meetings," Valery Yakovenko notes.

Agrodrones have completely changed approaches to conducting market relations in the industry: from PPE and the emergence of new technologies to professional development and IT solutions for agribusiness. You can learn more about all the changes in the recording of the online webinar:

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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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