Drones for Pest Control Effective in Some Situations

Josh McGill Pest Management, Technology

Technological advancements in recent years allow drones to perform precise agricultural work efficiently. One of the tasks in greatest demand is the application of phytosanitary products in a quick and timely manner. Drones can be used for extensive applications in a short time and are ideal for ultra-low-volume interventions.


With drones, very specific sectors, such as sources of disease or patches of weeds, can be treated. As a foliar application alternative, drones can provide practical, efficient and environmentally friendly solutions for pest and disease control.

However, there is not yet enough information to determine if the efficacy of treatment with agricultural drones is greater or less than conventional treatments. In an effort to make that determination, the Obispo Colombres Experimental Agroindustrial Station in Tucumán, Argentina, together with the companies Siner, Efficatia and Citromax, carried out a trial. Its objective was to evaluate the use of drones as a new tool for applying insecticides to control the citrus leafminer in young plants.

The trial was conducted in lemon trees on a property owned by the Citromax company located in Tucumán. The study determined that application of insecticides with a drone in a direction parallel to the plantation rows to control the citrus leafminer is as effective as an application with a Martignani hydropneumatic sprayer. On the other hand, the application of insecticide with a drone perpendicular to the plantation rows is less effective than the ground application.

The use of this new technology is a good alternative for isolated lots with very steep slopes or close to urban areas.

Although the results were promising, it is necessary to continue with the evaluations on a commercial scale to test different ages of plants and plantation designs.

Source: Obispo Colombres Agroindustrial Experimental Station

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