Strongfield Environmental Solutions held a field day in Alberta at the beginning of September to showcase drone technology and to lay the groundwork for a working group. The group will focus on fulfilling Pest Management Regulatory Agency research requirements needed to allow drones to apply crop protection products.  |  Wade McLean photo

Work starts on drone spraying rules

The PMRA does not allow crop protection products to be applied by aerial drones; experts say more research is needed

When the Canadian Aerial Applicators Association got wind that Don Campbell had been approved by Transport Canada to emit fluid from a drone, the group decided he needed to be stopped. “Just because Transport Canada has approved them as an unmanned aircraft for flying, that does not mean that they have been approved by the […] Read more

Forward Robotics’ fixed-wing hybrid drone, the U7AG, takes off and lands vertically and has a base station that automatically fills and recharges it, greatly reducing the labour to operate the system.  |  Forward Robotics photo

New drones dealing with spray drift

Vertical takeoff and landing, conventional aerofoil, high capacity UAV unmanned aerial vehicle unique design

Drones designed to spray broad- acre agricultural crops usually use fine droplets with a low water-to-chemical ratio to try and make up for their limited fluid carrying capacity. This greatly limits their use, because extremely low water volumes are off-label and fine droplets are prone to drift, where they might take out a neighbour’s crop. […] Read more

This ground-based drone has a camera on the front with artificial intelligence that is capable of identifying a wide variety of plants, including weeds and crops.  |  Daniel McCann photo

Drone sprayers separate the weeds

REGINA — A Saskatchewan company has developed artificially intelligent robots capable of detecting and spraying weeds autonomously. “There is the brain and the body. The brain is the parts of the camera, the AI that figures out what it’s looking at and can actually differentiate between weed and crop. And not just differentiate, it will […] Read more

There is a common misconception that helicopter rotors push the spray down toward the crop. However, as this photo of a Yamaha R-Max shows, the down-wash sends product swirling in all directions. Spraying expert Tom Wolf says this is a major factor that may prevent rotary drones from receiving federal approval for spraying.  |  Creative Commons image

Broad acre drone spraying unlikely

A spraying expert says potential spray drift is a significant concern and payloads will likely be too small to be productive

Drone sprayers have been used in Pacific Rim agriculture for more than two decades, and they gained California certification four years ago. But do they have potential beyond the orchard gate? Probably not, at least not in the foreseeable future, according to Tom Wolf, also known as the Nozzle Guy, in a recent post to […] Read more

The Western Drone Show is expected to provide an opportunity for farmers, researchers, agronomists, students, teachers and industry to learn about the latest developments in drone technology and new federal regulations.
| Screencap via

Drones: more than fast, hot pizza delivery in the urban areas

Western Drone Show covers cutting edge technology, agriculture, federal insights into new regulations

If you believe TV ads, you might think drones deliver piping hot pizza to your doorstep. Someday they may, but for now drones perform more serious work. Those serious tasks are what the Western Drone Show is about. Coming up May 3 in Winnipeg, the Western Drone Show is expected to provide an opportunity for […] Read more

The new drone pilot licensing system introduced by Transport Canada last month is designed to put better-trained pilots in control of the thousands of drones flying Canadian skies. | File photo

Rules to ground cowboy pilots from air rodeo

The new drone pilot licensing system introduced by Transport Canada last month is designed to put better-trained pilots in control of the thousands of drones flying Canadian skies. The new system was developed jointly by the federal government and industry, represented by Unmanned Systems Canada (USC). Phillip Reece, founder and chief executive officer of InDro […] Read more

Unmanned aerial vehicle rules are evolving to meet the needs of the public and users. New demands for licensing and training are being made.  |  File photo

Ottawa unleashes the drones

Transport Canada streamlines the regulations and the sky is the limit for UAVs in ag, or 400 feet, whichever comes first

The potential agronomic value of ag drones is getting a boost from the federal government in the form of streamlined regulations that eliminate much of the existing cumbersome bureaucratic paperwork. Unmanned Systems Canada (USC), a national non-profit association representing public and private innovation in unmanned vehicle systems, applauded the move by Transport Canada. The sky […] Read more

At the AlCan site at Bucking Horse River B.C., highspeed cellular service is provided by the same type of system proposed by New Com.  |  Bob Hillman photo

C2 corridor makes drones possible

The new high-tech 4G smartphones may have more features, but many people living in rural Canada complain that cell coverage with their new phone is getting worse instead of better. The reason for the complaint is that coverage is, in fact, worse. Today’s high-speed data networks have increased bandwidth but smaller range. While the cell […] Read more