Spraying by plane

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Drone spraying hasn't really hit the big time, from what I hear, and likely won't... With "electric batteries" and "range anxiety", carrying much capacity (acres covered per load) means the weight gets to be too much to be very practical. Can't carry much of a load at all, but if your guy is willing to return to home base often enough to refill with spray and change out batteries, AND has invested in enough fully charged batteries in reserve to make it work, more power to him. FAA rules won't allow drones to carry anymore than so much weight, because then they'd be able to do too much damage with "fly-in bombs" too.

Kind of the same problem that electric cars run into... batteries only provide so much energy density/#, take a long time to "refuel", and eventually, that "gas tank" is gonna need to be replaced after so many charges (and faster charging reduces the battery life). Outside of rust, most petro fuel tanks will last a lifetime.
Drone spraying is the way of the future. Many drones can carry 100 lbs and spray 40 acres per hour. A drone with 3 batteries always has a charged battery when it returns for a refill. Add more drones for scale. They can get out on the fields when conventional sprayers can't. They can scan a field for weeds and spot spray as required. All for a fraction of the price of a conventional.
They will take off here when the approvals come through for herbicide use. Presently in Canada they are approved for fertilizer and seeding, but not herbicide. Word is sometime within the next year or so.
I know a guy down south that is making a great business out of it already and that's without herbicide.
Biggest drawback I see is the time it takes to get the license, but if someone wanted to make a business out of it it would seem like a minor hurdle.
Very reasonable priced. Wouldn't work here in the mountains but interesting.
You'd be amazed at what those pilots live and love to fly around. Drones are improving—my neighbor hired a drone guy to desiccate 1/2 section of sunflowers after his regular spray flying guy wound up in the Obits. I watched for a little while. Two drones operating off a gravel road. Guy kept very busy refilling! But these would work great for pasture work.
Ag pilots are among the craziest people I've known. I think only bull riders, roughnecks, and videographers of the Titanic are to the lower right (or left) on the bell curve.

As an aside, (and Ouachita probably already knows) the US Army and Air Force had been looking for a new off the shelf aircraft platform to provide recon and close air support for their SOCOM activities. They chose a crop duster. Air Tractor 802, a plane used as both crop duster and airborne fire fighter.. Armed Overwatch/Sky Warden/Archangel are a few of the versions (Archangel is the Israeli and UAE version, Sky Warden is USAF and Armed Overwatch is SOCOM.)

Seems like a natural enough evolution to me....but next time I see a crop duster overhead, I'm gonna keep a wary eye out...

I was quoted $30 an acre plus chemicals to spray using a helicopter to spray sagebrush. Mountains go up too high and too suddenly to use a plane.

We are talking about flying a helicopter this winter with a gunner to reduce coyote population. Was told by our pilot that we can rent a helicopter for $11,000 a month. I was wondering what the weekly or daily rate is......

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