Imaging processing company VineView, drone manufacturer SkySquirrel Technologies, and drone operator Hawk Aerial have partnered to bring more drones to California’s North Coast wine country. All three companies have experience offering their particular services to California vineyards but the partnership will allow them to pool resources and take small advantage of smaller drones to monitor and map crops at small vineyards.
The Marketing Director Bryan Soderblom said,“We found drones most-efficient for smaller- to medium-sized vineyards — less than 100 acres. Above that, it’s more efficient with an airplane.”
According to the partnered companies their drones can cover about 1 acre a minute, meaning they can map between 20-25 acres using one battery charge on a drone. As batteries for drones get better they see drones taking over more responsibility from airplanes.
The team at Drone Dossier sees this as a very important story for agricultural drones. Right now, for larger areas planes may be more efficient (not to mention they can carry more sensors), but as drones and battery technology progresses planes will loose any advantage they have now. Still it should be a lesson for anyone getting into the agricultural drone space…you need to realize your limits right now and not over promise. Also, in order to truly be effective you need to merge ability in flying, imaging and marketing your services, which may mean partnerships.