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Precision smart farmtech offer by Aerobotics and Rovic Leers

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Smart information is essential for successful farming. It forms the basis of smart decision-making. But smart information also demands smart applications – if not, it will only remain colourful pictures on a screen.

To make the above come true, farmers can now profit from a special collaboration agreement between Rovic Leers, with their advanced sprayer technology, and Aerobotics, with their pioneering information technology. Together with every Rovic Evenflow® orchard or citrus sprayer bought by a farmer, he is also entitled to a 50 hectare drone reconnaissance flight to the value of R12 500.*

During the flight the drone collects valuable information that the farmer can use in future to make the best possible tree by tree management solutions.

Farm smart with Aerobotics

This Cape Town company is a leader in precision agriculture, especially where pests and plagues have to be kept in check before it can cause damage. Aerobotics has perfected the combining of GPS and satellite technology, cameras and sensors in drones. The company provides farmers with accurate information regarding their crops with early warnings of potential risks culminating in improved production.

The company’s technology is already being applied on hundreds of farms in 18 countries and covers a large slice of the South African macadamia and citrus markets. Aerobotics enjoys international recognition and was adjudicated “Best Technology Company” of 2019 during the Africa Tech Week.

Aerobotics makes use of multi-spectral cameras on their drones to capture high resolution data images. Their Aeroview software was developed after painstaking research and many hours in the veld. Every possible disease and threat were documented. The software also utilise artificial intelligence to improve its knowledge about diseases and to recognise it easier. The cameras in the drones have a very high resolution – it can differentiate between squares of up to 4 cm by 4 cm. The general health, pests, plagues, tension and growth are monitored, as well as the volume and leaf canopy of each crop unit.

Aerobotics recently also developed their new crop estimate product for citrus growers and it is now possible to report fruit size distribution in advance to the farmer – the days are past of writing up a magnitude of information with pen and paper. The areobotics program works as follows:

After a farmer has completed one of the contract options, the aerial reconnaissance is deployed to photograph the finest detail of every tree in the orchard. After that problem cases are identified with the aid of the Aeroview software and a route map between the problem cases is transmitted to the farmer’s cellphone.

With the aid of the Aeroview InField application problems are then studied from a closer position on the land and are further analysed electronically. With this information, the farmer can approach his/her consultant or agro-chemical company. Accurate and exact targeted applications can then be done in collaboration with Rovic Leers, which saves a lot of time and money.

Smart crop-spraying with Rovic Leers

Rovic Leers, which already has a long history as implement manufacturer and importer in Southern Africa, recently also introduced new orchard spraying technology. This is known as ROVIC EVENFLOW® VAM® and is an extension of the existing patented SYNCROFLOW ® and EVENFLOW® technology to apply automatic calibration or Variable Air Momentum (VAM®).

The new technology means even more exact and effective spraying. This is how it works:

• Variable groundspeed can now be used, which allows the operator to deal with turns between the rows at a safe speed, while maximum effective speed can be used in the row itself;

• The increase in hectares that can be sprayed in a day without jeopardising safety and accuracy, means less time in the orchard and better timing of applications;

• The automatic calibration adjustment while on the move supports the accuracy and optimal use of chemicals;

• Mistakes by operators is largely eliminated;

• The VAM® management process constantly optimises the airflow and speed, depositing the maximum active component on the target area at the lowest fuel consumption; and

• For the first time the standard mixture can be prepared for all sprayers because the volume (litres/hectare) which is applied, is adjusted at the beginning of the orchard to indicate the real number of trees per row (Tree Row Volume). This means that any machine can be used in any orchard.

With the interpretation of the Aerobotics data, the sprayers can be calibrated accurately for optimal application of the chemicals or overhead fertilisation.

To know exactly what the condition of your orchards are, contact Vic van den Berg of Aerobotics on +27(0)76-625-9273, +27(0)21-035-1060 or vic@aerobotics.com and Marius Ras of Rovic Leers on +27(0)21-907-1700 or mariusr@rovicleers.co.za. You can also visit their website www.rovicleers.co.za .

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