Harpers Ferry farmer Jon Kruse is utilizing a unique method of planting cover crops this fall – a drone. September 16, Kruse hired Devin Brincks, a Rantizo contractor, to fly his drone over standing soybeans to seed red clover as a cover crop.
Aerial cover crop application is growing in popularity across Iowa because of the upsides. A big advantage of aerial seeding is that more acres can be seeded in less time than with ground equipment. Aerial application also allows seeding to be done when it is physically impossible to use ground equipment such as when crops are present or the soil is too wet for regular equipment.
Kruse seeded 10 lbs. of red clover per acre. The drone can carry 25 lbs. of seed and was able to seed two acres in approximately four minutes. Prior to seeding, Brincks logged the perimeter of the field into the drone so when he started seeding the drone utilized GPS technology to start and stop at field edges. He seeded the cover crop at a 20-foot wide swath and maintained a constant height above the crop.
Read more on this story at the Waukon Standard