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Drone Agriculture Spraying

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For many years now, the use of UAS in the agriculture sector has been discussed, both for crop analysis through the use of multispectral cameras, but drones are also a perfect tool for applying phytosanitary products. In this article, we will explain what you need to fly a drone for the application of phytosanitary products in an agricultural environment.

Drones for phytosanitary application

The use of drones for the application of phytosanitary products is a practice where drones, equipped with spraying systems, are used to spray phytosanitary products over crops. This can include pesticides, herbicides, fertilisers, or other products intended to protect or enhance crop growth.

Drones offer several advantages compared to traditional methods of applying phytosanitary products, such as ground or aerial spraying with planes. Some of these advantages include:

  1. Precision: Drones can apply products with millimeter precision, reducing waste and ensuring more effective application.

  2. Access: Drones can access hard-to-reach areas for ground equipment, such as mountainous terrain or irregular fields.

  3. Safety: By not requiring the presence of human operators in the field during application, drones can reduce the risk of exposure to dangerous chemicals.

  4. Efficiency: Drones can cover large expanses of land quickly and efficiently, which can save time and costs compared to traditional methods.

What you need to be able to use a drone for the application of phytosanitary products

Initially, it was necessary to go through a complete Operational Authorisation process, but at the end of October 2023, EASA published Decision 2023/012/R, indicating that practices with drones for agricultural use could be performed under the PDRA S-01 regardless of weighing more than 25 kg.

Although the PDRA S-01 is the equivalent of the standard scenario STS-01, intended for flight in urban areas, it can be used in an agricultural environment. Some of the advantages of using the PDRA after the modification are:

  • No 25 kg limit for UAS (yes, a maximum dimension of 3 meters).

  • An appropriate definition of the places where you will fly must be made.

  • Maximum flight altitude of 10 meters.

  • It is not necessary to have a reinforced containment system (flight termination system) if the flight is carried out in areas where the adjacent area is considered low risk.

As you can see, starting an activity or business using drones for agricultural work has become much simpler. At EU Drone Port 🇪🇺 we have extensive experience in managing projects with Operational Authorisations and PDRAs throughout Europe. Do not hesitate to consult us and we will help you with everything you need.