Successful Farming ranks Quantix & AV DSS #1 "Top 7 Ag Tech Advancements from 2018"

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December 4th, 2018

This past year was another banner year for ag tech advancements. From drones to blockchain, the myriad innovations developed by the seven companies that follow help farmers better manage their businesses now and into the future.

1. AeroVironment Develops a Complete Drone Package

According to research firm Global Market Insights, the market for agricultural drones will top $1 billion by 2024, up from about $338 million in 2016.

For the past five years, California-based AeroVironment has made a concerted effort to understand the markets and technology for agriculture. This approach has allowed the company to develop a system that addresses the issues (it’s really hard to use, it doesn’t meet farmers’ needs, the uncertainty with what to do with the data, etc.) hampering adoption.

“There really needed to be a complete ecosystem provided to farmers. What we mean by that is you have to have a drone that makes it really easy to collect the data, it has to be easy to fly, it has to have a good-quality camera, and then you have to have an easy-to-use software that easily stitches together the images and runs all of the analytics to make it meaningful for the farmer,” says Jonah Teeter-Balin, director, AeroVironment sales and marketing.

Experienced in both quad and fixed-wing drones, AeroVironment’s original pilot studies revealed that although the quad was easy to control, it didn’t offer the coverage need to really make it work in agriculture.

While the fixed wing could go the distance, they found its stability in windy conditions a bit of a challenge when trying to take high-quality images.

“We combined the best of both worlds with our Quantix drone, which has the ability to cover 400 acres per 45-minute flight,” he says. “Because it has four propellers, it is very stable in flight, but we limit it to 15-mph winds because we don’t believe you can take high-quality images above that.”

The Quantix takes off and lands like a multirotor. It has the range, reliability, and efficiency of a fixed wing. Also, its unique hybrid design allows the aircraft to launch vertically and then transition to horizontal flight.

With the touch of a button, Quantix initiates a fully automated takeoff, flight, and landing. The Quick Look maps allow you to instantly assess a field to identify potential issues before they start impacting yield.

Data is seamlessly integrated into the AeroVironment Decision Support System. This system automatically performs advanced image processing, analytics, and comparative and historical reporting to help you make quicker decisions.

Simple and seamless . . . two key criteria when introducing a new technology to agriculture.

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