"The path of agriculture in 2024: agricultural drones, robotics, precision agriculture and digitalization". Results of the Open Conversation with DroneUA

February 22, 2024
“Шлях агро в 2024: агродрони, робототехніка, точне землеробство та діджиталізація”. Підсумки Відкритої бесіди з DroneUA
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The first Open talk with DroneUA in 2024 titled "The Path of Agriculture in 2024: Agridrones, Robotics, Precision Farming, and Digitalization. Where, Why, and with What Prospects?" took place on February 21st. The event was held in an online format and gathered various representatives of the agricultural market, including farms, holdings, technological companies, and industry organizations. The event attracted over 100 participants.


The meeting demonstrated that farmers have numerous questions and need expert consultations in choosing a new strategy and precise technologies worth investing in for the 2024 season. Valeriy Yakovenko, co-founder and managing partner of DroneUA, along with leading experts from the agricultural market, addressed the most pressing issues related to technology, digitalization, and production automation, including the profitability of investments in precision solutions. Speakers shared their own forecasts and visions for the 2024 agricultural season.

"Innovation - the Future and Key to Ukraine's Victory"

One of the most common trends that has been observed in recent years and is gaining more and more popularity is a change in the approach to soil cultivation. In particular, the modern mainstream is becoming the rejection of plowing and the use of frugal technologies with minimal and zero cultivation. This allows you to save a significant amount of resources, improve the condition of the soil and increase the yield.

At the same time, precision farming technologies are increasingly being integrated into agribusiness. Their elements are extremely numerous today - a differentiated approach in tillage, sowing rates, application of fertilizers and pesticides, farm management systems, innovative equipment to increase work accuracy and data tracking. Currently, an interesting trend is observed: the elements of precision agriculture are implemented by farms with a very different land bank - both small and medium-sized producers and large agricultural holdings.

According to Roman Slastyon, business leader at ICL Growing Solutions Ukraine and former CEO of UKAB, precision agriculture technologies are essential today to reduce production costs and enhance the economic resilience of both agricultural producers and Ukraine as a whole.

ICL Growing Solutions Ukraine, represented by Roman Slastyon, is also moving towards innovative technologies to improve plant nutrition and protection efficiency, as well as to conserve resources and use them more efficiently. Currently, developers are working on implementing advanced fertilizers with extremely high water solubility, which are safe for plants even at concentrations of 20% of the working solution. Such solutions enable the application of foliar fertilizers by drones with ultra-low rates and provide plants with necessary nutrition during critical periods.


"Never stop, keep moving forward, always try something new, pick what suits you best, then you will find the best solutions for yourself. Share this experience so that other colleagues have the opportunity to develop and see the prospects in it. In innovation lies the future, better results for our agricultural sector, reducing the negative impact on the environment, and of course, in innovation lies the key to Ukraine's success." — Roman Slastyon.

What current trends in precision agriculture and digital agronomy does the Syngenta team see in 2024?

According to Oleksandr Zozulya, the head of the group of regional technical experts at Syngenta in Ukraine, the foundation of precision agriculture lies in thorough research of crops, forecasting various scenarios, and modeling results.


Based on Syngenta's experience, soil mapping, during which the amount of organic matter was determined, adjusted the application rate of soil herbicides, resulting in a saving of approximately 30% of resources for the farm.

Predicting potential pre-harvest losses is also crucial and allows adjusting the area of crops requiring desiccation. A special program includes vegetation indices, hybrid characteristics, and even before the harvest, it allows creating a map of possible losses and serves as the basis for result modeling. It's a kind of calculator. Syngenta plans to develop a similar calculator to prevent crop lodging.

According to Oleksandr Zozulia, to achieve maximum effectiveness from drone sprayers, precise application maps and a differential approach are necessary. Currently, all technologies require improvement, and quality crop research remains the main task.

Why agricultural producers "won't give up" sprayer drones?

Roman Tkachuk, CEO of AgroCopter LLC, who shared significant experience in providing crop protection services with drone application, noted that farmers used to be quite skeptical about drone sprayers due to the unusual application rate (5-8 liters per hectare), but the situation has changed.


Farms that have tried working with agricultural drones highlight their undeniable advantages:

  • when a drone sprayer is needed here and now, it is always available and provides quick assistance due to its mobility;
  • the compactness of the equipment reduces logistical costs and is economically advantageous for any enterprise;
  • agricultural drones can operate in excessively moist soil conditions;
  • ultra-low-volume application (ULV) technology eliminates water resource issues in arid regions and simplifies logistics during the hot season.

Based on the experience of the company "AgroCopter":

  • during a single application, it is possible to fully recoup the cost of the agricultural drone;
  • application with agricultural drones always works; you just need to follow the right operating conditions;
  • with application rates of 6 L/ha and 15 L/ha, the result will be the same;
  • new models of XAG agricultural drones with larger tank capacities will increase productivity and application quality.

Which land bank is worth buying an agricultural drone from?

Alexander Yevpak, the head of SFH "Victoria Sens," shared his experience of processing cranberries with drone sprayers and dispelled the risks of plant phytotoxicity. Instead, he traced better substance absorption with the ultra-low volume (ULV) technology by drones, prompt and high-quality application without overlaps in areas with complex configurations, and the timely execution of planned operations thanks to unmanned solutions: it took 1.5 - 2 hours to process 20 hectares, whereas with conventional technology, it would require about 7 hours for the same operation. It takes 10 minutes to process 1 hectare, including preparation for work.



The technology developed by the farm involves an average of 10-12 treatments (fungicide + insecticide). These treatments were carried out using drones. As a result, the biological effect of plant protection products was achieved, the uniformity of application improved, and the quality of the berries was higher.

Additionally, Alexander Yevpak highlights the ability to make quick decisions and perform necessary operations due to the compactness of the equipment. In his view, if drones are used in berry farming, then for areas up to 20 hectares, it is feasible to use service providers, while beyond that, it is worth purchasing your own drone.

Andriy Atroshchenko, an agronomist at LLC "Desnyanski Zori," shared his experience of using drones in grain and oilseed crops. The farm from Chernihiv region, with a land bank of about 900 hectares, already has three XAG V40 drone sprayers in its fleet.


The first agricultural drone was purchased during a challenging period in the summer of 2022, despite all the difficulties. Among many brands, XAG was chosen because the drones from this manufacturer are more automated and have patented atomizer technology, allowing them to work with solutions of different densities. Additionally, the flagship model has many design improvements compared to previous models. Andriy Atroshchenko also highlights the key technological advantages of using agricultural drones:

  • high mobility and precision of application;
  • absence of crop trampling;
  • ability to apply a differentiated approach to desiccation and grow different hybrids in the same field.

How can Ukrainian farmers make decisions correctly and in a timely manner?

Stanislav Shum, CEO of the content marketing agency Top Lead and founder of the media resource Ageek, advises Ukrainian farmers to eliminate skepticism from their thinking, keep up with modern trends, and embrace innovation. Ukrainian agribusiness is very powerful, but it cannot afford to stand still. Action must be taken swiftly. Today, the agricultural market is very dynamic, especially in Ukraine. Everything is changing, and it is necessary to seize the opportunities available now, as they may not exist in a year, and all current trends may no longer be relevant, with grant programs becoming difficult to access.


Agricultural producers are seeking new horizons, new opportunities, and require valuable insider information and new partnerships. The international group of companies DroneUA will continue to initiate such meetings in order to propel the Ukrainian agricultural market forward at a rapid pace and blur the invisible boundaries between different sectors of the agricultural community.


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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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