Equipment/Technology, News September 2021, Production/Agronomy, Smart Farming, South, Central America, Sustainability

XAG demonstrates potential of fully autonomous drones for potato farmers

Flying into the Andes mountains of Ecuador, XAG Agricultural Drones are recently introduced to a series of on-farm spray trials for high-altitude specialty crops. The demonstrations on potato fields have presented the high potential of fully autonomous drones in reducing labour cost and agricultural pesticide exposure.

Both smallholders and large farms in Ecuador are seeking high-precision drones as alternative to manual labour and ground machinery.

Since this July, XAG’s local partner MegaDrone has been conducting drone spraying demonstrations for Andean potato farmers in the region of Carchi. The growing potato crops were evenly sprayed with minimal chemical by XAG Agricultural Drone equipped with four atomised nozzles and a 16L smart liquid tank.

For most Ecuadorian farmers on scene, this was their first-time watching drone spray crops along the slopes of Andes.

According to the test result, flying over the canopy from 2 meters above, the XAG Agricultural Drone could deliver droplets directly to the base of the potato plants without causing spray drift and soil compaction. As sustainable agricultural practices get highly concerned in Ecuador, Andean farmers start embracing farming drones to increase yield on the sloped Andes areas.

During the potato field demo in Farm Hacienda la Ovejeria, a XAG Agricultural Drone was operated by an Ecuadorian pilot to show its capacity of precision spraying. Its 30% reduction in chemical use and 90% water saving allow farmers to effectively control pests and fungal diseases with minimum environmental impact.

The agile agricultural drone would be a powerful tool to promote sustainable farming in Ecuador’s 3.2 million hectares of cultivable soil.

Source: XAG Agricultural Drone. Read the full story here
Photo: Ecuadorian farmers watch XAG’s drone spraying crops for the first time | MegaDrone SA

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