Home-United StatesAerial Drone Spraying Not Yet Approved

Aerial Drone Spraying Not Yet Approved

Aerial drones have become a more common sight on farms over the past few years for surveillance activities such as mapping and scouting to applying inputs such as fertilizer and seed. One area of great interest in agriculture has been the use of these vehicles to apply crop protection products.

Long in use in Asia, the idea of using remotely piloted aircraft systems (RPAS) – the government speak for aerial drones – for spraying crop protection products is relatively new in North America. The potential application of crop protection products with RPAS first caught the eye of the Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA) in 2018. At that point it was decided that application of crop protection products by RPAS represents a new technology for aerial application and existing data and models based on conventional fixed-wing or rotary aircraft may not apply.

Based on that conclusion, PMRA took the position that the use of crop protection products with RPAS technology requires specific assessments to understand aspects such as occupational exposure, crop residues, efficacy and drift potential. For RPAS to be approved, it must be indicated on the product label as an allowable application method. So where does this issue stand in December 2023?

Read more on this story at The Grower





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