Growing up and working in California’s Salinas Valley, Jaclyn Bennett has long heard the complaints from growers who want to use beneficial insects but bemoan the man-hours needed to disperse them in the field, reports David Eddy at Growing Produce. “The industry standard is by hand,” she says. “With labor costs and shortages, they don’t have the labor to get it done or couldn’t afford the labor to do it.”
But Bennett, now the General Manager of Parabug, believes technology can finally provide answers. The three-year-old company’s patents-pending technology aims to bring about the greater use of augmentative biological control for agricultural pests by using unmanned aerial vehicles — drones — for the rapid and timely dispersal of biologicals.