Wednesday, March 14, 2018
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Drone Treats Infected Crops; Can Help Farmers Cut Costs and Labor

 Story Courtesy Of The Courier Mail


Michael Godfrey
Michael Godfrey has designed a drone to treat infected crops. Picture: Jamie Hanson

A drone designed to treat infected corn crops has the potential to revolutionise the broadacre crop industry.

University of Queensland Agricultural Science student, Michael Godfrey, designed a drone to spread predatory bugs and eggs on to corn crops already infested with other insects.

The mini-aircraft has the potential to save corn growers thousands of dollars and many hours of labour by allowing them to protect against pests that damage crops and reduce yield.

“A drone means you don’t have to physically go in and out of a crop and there is less of a chance of spreading infection,” Mr Godfrey said.

While drones are already used on some farms, the unique design of Mr Godfrey’s drone – a hexacopter with detachable dispenser housing insects – has not yet been used by corn growers.

The prototype has been successfully tested at Rugby Farms in Gatton but is yet to be commercialised.

“The project is about education (not commercialisation) so we’re trying to build relationships between students and the industry,” head of UQ’s Agricultural Remote Sensing Laboratory, Dr Kim Bryceson said.