Wilbur-Ellis Company — the No. 4 ranked ag retailer on the 2014 CropLife Top 100 ranking of the largest U.S. retailers — has received FAA approval to operate OR-based HoneyComb Corporation’s AgDrone System commercially, reports HoneyComb Corp.’s Ben Howard via PrecisionAg.com’s open submission contact form.
The AgDrone is a second generation fully autonomous drone from HoneyComb designed for agriculture. It is easy for farmers and consultants to operate and is covered in a Kevlar composite exoskeleton for lightweight durability in rough conditions, claims HoneyComb.
The AgDrone carries two sensors providing the operator with both visible and multi-spectral imagery from a single flight. The AgDrone’s sensors feed into a cloud-based map processing system that can generate plant stress maps in minutes.
Wilbur-Ellis plans to use the AgDrone to help scout fields in South Dakota. Plant map data will allow their applicators to test prescription application effectiveness.