The days of swarming drones in Nebraska skies have just begun. Katy Moore, Midwest Messenger Editor reports.
Rantizo — a relatively new player in the drone industry — is upping the game with its crop spraying technologies and bringing competition to the traditional aerial application business.
Installing its custom plumbing package onto DJI Agras Mg-1P drones, Rantizo has shirked the spot treatment status quo, reaching full field capabilities with one drone covering 14 acres an hour. And they aren’t done yet.
“Within the next two years, our goal is 100 acres per hour,” said David Pieper, Rantizo director of sales, during a drone technology panel hosted by the Cornhusker Chapter of National Agri-Marketing Association (NAMA) Feb. 6 in Lincoln, Nebraska. “We’ve got the technology to do that.”
The next step toward that goal is to release Rantizo’s new manual mix-and-fill system, which will increase drone productivity to 23 acres per hour. Pieper said this feature will hit the market very soon.
Not only that, but Rantizo has filed with the Federal Aviation Administration for swarming rights, with hopes to see approval by late summer. Once swarming is permitted, Rantizo’s time blanketing the fields will have a substantial bump to 60-70 acres per hour with three drones operating via one pilot.
To further improve spraying efficiencies, Rantizo is developing an electrostatic technology component for its drone sprayers. The product will receive a charge as it evacuates from the pump, compelling it to grab onto the plants and envelope each with an even, light coating, thereby improving its function and value.
An automatic battery re-loader will complete the company’s autonomous drone package, eliminating the need for an operator to touch anything but the Rantizo app on their phone.