In agriculture, UAV plant protection technology is mainly used in field crops or plantations with wide and flat terrain, but less frequently in citrus orchards with hilly terrain. Recently, in an exchange with Linhai Chunshu Fruit Professional Cooperative, we learned that the cooperative pays attention to the application of digital technology and has used drones for spraying and transportation in its mountain citrus plantations.
Mr. Guan Binghua, general manager of the cooperative, said: "With the help of UAV protection technology, the timeliness of orchard operations can be improved and the dependence on labor can be reduced."
Due to its landscape with many mountains and few plains, in Zhejiang, the labor intensity is quite high in agriculture. For the current labor shortage and aging problem, using machinery and digital technology may be one of the alternatives.
Mr. Guan introduced, "Taking spraying pest control chemicals as an example, it requires 10 workers to work for two days, and an appointment is made one day in advance. While it only needs two workers to work for 1 day with UAV. It can be operated at any time, which greatly improves the timeliness of operation. Especially in the rainy season, the critical period of black spot disease prevention and control, it is very important to be able to operate efficiently at any time."
"Secondly, the cost of using UAVs is lower compared to labor costs. For the same example above, labor costs are about 100,000 per year, while the cost of purchasing UAVs is 60,000, which can usually be used for 3-5 years. So, even with annual wear and maintenance costs, the cost is relatively lower.”
"In addition, since the drone has a load capacity of 40-60 kg, in addition to spraying, we also let it moderately undertake the transportation so that we can move the red bayberry picked from the high mountain to the bottom of the mountain, which greatly saves time and labor."
In terms of operation, the drone company draws a topographic map according to the actual situation of the orchard, sets the flight route of the drone, and automatically records the location every time it takes off and lands, so as to ensure that the operation covers the entire orchard without repeated spraying. Of the two workers required to operate the drones, one is a trained pilot (operator), and the other is responsible for dispensing chemicals. The operation is not complicated.
"UAV technology is not widely used in fruit planting, especially in mountainous terrain. We are the first local orchard to use this technology. After a year of trial operation, we have roughly met the requirements. We believe that this technology helps the orchard improve efficiency and reduce costs, and so we've purchased the relevant equipment and trained pilots and put it into use,” said Mr. Guan.
Linhai Chunshu Fruit Professional Cooperative is mainly engaged in citrus and red bayberry. Its business includes planting, sorting, packaging, sales, and import and export, and all these are operated according to corporate standardization. The company has its own mountain orchard covering an area of 500 mu and a 5000 square meter digital sorting center. The citrus variety planted by the company is Linhai Tangerine, the brand is "Donghai Baoju", and the bayberry brand is "Jixianhao". Its sales channels include multiple wholesale markets, supermarkets, chain fruit stores, and various online platforms nationwide.
For more information:
Contact: Guan Binhua
Company: Linhai Chunshu Fruit Professional Cooperative
Tel: +86 18958553118