Agriculture Science student, Michael Godfrey at the University of Queensland, Australia has developed a new ‘bug drone’ that is able to spread beneficial insects onto crops, saving producers both money and time.
Tests were conducted spreading the beneficial Californicus mite onto crops infected with two spotted mites that eat the chlorophyll in leaves, damaging crops and reducing yields. A specific drone was built for the project with custom propellers, stand, and motor – and a custom attachment that was inspired by a seed spreader that can spread the mites over a crop by air, powered by its own small motor.
Initial testing indicates that drones are a viable and efficient method of broadcasting beneficial insects over large fields of crops, however methods for better controlling the volume of insects distributed at one time will need to be developed.
Lynda Kiernan is Editor with HighQuest Group Media and of the Oilseed & Grain News. If you would like to submit a contribution for consideration, please contact Ms. Kiernan at firstname.lastname@example.org.