The Economy of Drone Crop Spraying

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The Economy of Drone Crop Spraying

Published on
August 3, 2023
The Economy of Drone Crop Spraying

As the clock ticks and technology evolves, UAVs (Unmanned Aerial Vehicel, or more commonly known as drones) have found a solid footing in the agricultural and forestry sectors. These unmanned vehicles are fast gaining ground in Alberta and Sasktachewan as a more efficient alternative to manual pesticide application. Broadly, we can compartmentalize the users of crop-protection drones into three categories.

  • The first of these comprises Drone Service Providers, typically hired by agricultural companies. They bring to the table expert flying skills along with professional-grade equipment.
  • The second category includes large-scale farmers who invest in sophisticated equipment to cut down on their farming expenses. However, a notable downside for them involves obtaining all required certifications from Transport Canada and NAV CANADA.
  • Much like tractors and milling machines, crop protection drones are a essential tools that are growing in popularity with wide-scale applications in farming. This brings us to the third category - large farms or cooperatives that rely extensively on this modern-day technology to streamline their operations.

The major advantages of drone crop protection (vs. traditional methods) fall into four major categories:


The first major advantage of utilizing drop technology in drone crop protection is savings in time, effort and cost.

Crop protection drones display remarkable speed and efficiency in their operations. Tasks that would traditionally take one or two days of manual labour can now be accomplished in a mere matter of minutes with these advanced flying machines.

Take, for instance, a plot of land spanning ten acres. Ordinarily, it would take an individual approximately two days to manually spray pesticides over this area. With a crop protection drone, though, the same task can be concluded efficiently in about 20 minutes. The striking disparity doesn't end here - in fact, the efficiency of drones clocks in at a stunning rate that is several-fold higher than their human counterparts.

Moreover, many crop diseases and pests tend to emerge and spread rapidly. Timely prevention and control via drone operation can greatly minimize potential damage and avoid yield reduction. Hence, crop protection drones are time efficient, reduce human labour, and ensure quick results.


The second advantage comes in the form of meticulous atomization and uniform spray application. Agricultural drones typically employ ultra-fine atomizing nozzles, which result in impressive high rates of atomization. Due to the even flying speed, the spray application also tends to be consistent. This thorough coverage across the planting area vastly boosts control effectiveness.

The versatility of these drones is virtually unsurpassed. They can effectively work on a range of crops from fruit trees to field crops like wheat and corn, provided they encounter no flight obstructions like telephone poles, tall bushes or wires. Naturally, their utility far surpasses manual methods. For instance, consider the trials of treating tall corn plants riddled with rust disease - an inconvenience when handled manually but a breeze for a drone.

Drones prove especially advantageous in areas with complex terrain or for crops with high stems that deter frequent manual operations. The convenience and uniqueness brought to these situations by aerial crop protection drones are indeed praiseworthy!


The third advantage is the loss of crops. Drones leave no traces on the ground and therefore they do not destroy crops. The loss of crops due to tractor tires is between 3 and 5%. They can also reach locations where tractors cannot reach.


A fourth key advantage lies in the substantial savings of water and chemicals. Let's take the example of an electric sprinkler - with an output of about 30 litres of water, it can typically cover seven or eight points of land. In some cases, it might even extend to cover an acre.

However, in contrast, drones use just about 1 kilogram (roughly 2 pounds) of water to cover the same area. The amount of chemicals needed is also markedly less when compared to a sprinkler – under sunny, windless conditions, a drone can achieve the same results with anywhere between half to two-thirds of the dosage. This represents at least a third less input.

Of course, exceptions surface under windy conditions which might cause drift and debris. Moreover, when dealing with pests and diseases that exhibit relatively high resistance, the quantity of drone spraying may require adjustment. Nevertheless, overall levels remain far lower than those used in traditional manual or mechanized methods.


In conclusion, there's no denying the multitude of benefits that drones bring to the field over traditional crop spraying methods. From substantial time and cost savings, to highly efficient atomization and application of sprays, reduced usage of water and chemicals, to their incredible versatility around complex terrains and diverse crops, drones undoubtedly represent the future of sustainable agriculture.

However, we understand that embracing such innovations may bring up questions or concerns. You might be curious about implementation processes, costs, effective utilization, or safety protocols associated with the use of drones in agriculture. Or perhaps you need assistance in deciding what type of drone technology would best suit your agricultural needs.

At Volare Drone Innovations, we are eager to address all these inquiries and provide clients in Alberta and Saskatchewan all the support they need. Feel free to contact us at Our team brings years of industry experience and leadership in agricultural drone technology to help you achieve better efficiency, yields and sustainability in your farming practices. We value your trust in our expertise and we are committed to assisting you every step of the way as you transition into this exciting new wave of agricultural innovation.

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