It’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s…another drone company.
Guardian Agriculture, a Boston-based startup, just deposited a batch of seed money from seed businesses. $10.5 billion from big-time players [Bayer, Wilbur Ellis, FMC] will help this startup bring digital farming to America’s farmers with its first drone system for crop protection application.
Ready for liftoff.
The autonomous vehicle is called an “eVTOL” – electric vertical takeoff and landing. Each drone has the capacity to spray or fertilize up to 40 acres per hour on pre-planned routes. The drone collects and acts on data to reduce product waste.
The drone’s benefits could be three-fold:
- Extend growers’ reach
- Reduce environmental impact
- Minimize product resistance
When these flying sprayers go out into the big, big world, they “are capable of eliminating hundreds of millions of pounds of unnecessary pesticide use annually while helping farmers grow healthier, better-protected crops.”
You can drone your own way.
Rather than being an expensive up-front cost to farmers, the drone would be offered as a service – which is how crop-dusting services are currently offered. The service ranges from $10 to $45 per acre based on Guardian’s surveys of farmers. There’s no upkeep for farmers, either.
What’s ahead: With $20 million of preorders on the docket, Guardian will ramp up manufacturing to ship out drones to early-adopting farmers in Florida and California.