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Rantizo breaks down the economics of spot spraying

The Benefits of drone spraying

Drone spraying is relatively new to the agricultural spraying market. Where Rantizo offers the biggest advantage over other traditional methods of crop spraying is in field access and input costs. The following is an exercise that will illustrate this.

In the past, farmers treated all of their field because they didn't know exactly where their problems were and didn't know if they could get back into their fields.  The Rantizo platform changes the game.  We use imagery to understand exactly what is happening in the field, then directly apply pesticides right where they are needed.  Our system is nimble and we can re-apply multiple times for cheaper than a whole field would cost.  The numbers below highlight the opportunity.

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Exercise #1 - 100% Acres treated

Farmers have long been accustomed to spraying their entire field. With weather delays, muddy fields or limited access to labor, often times this presents a scenario where it's "all or nothing".


It doesn't have to be that way any more.


Using the provided assumptions, let's walk through the 100% Acres Treated Exercise.


In this case if you have 100 acres 100% of them need treated, it makes sense to do so.


In this situation, all three agricultural spraying methods will provide a profit. Ground rig application at $7/hour yields the highest profit at $1,800.

While drone spraying also yields a profit of $1,350, it would be $450 less than the profits yielded from ground rig application.


Traditional aerial application would provide the least amount of profit at $1,000.

Assumptions

  • Total acres = 100
  • Chemical cost per acre = $35
  • Yield increase per acre treated = 15 (bu/ac)
  • Price per bushel = $4

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Exercise #2 - 75% acres treated

When you start to consider spot spraying or treating only the portions of fields that need it, the argument for drone spraying becomes more compelling.


Using the provided assumptions, let's walk through the 75% Acres Treated Exercise.


In this case if you have 100 acres to spray and only 75 acres need treated, only two of the three application methods yield a profit. 


Ground rig application would still be profitable, but since 100% of the field was sprayed (per common industry practice), there is a considerable difference in profitability compared to drone spraying.

Drone spraying application yields $713 more in profit and is the most profitable option in this scenario.


Traditional aerial application would not be a viable option in this exercise and would generate a loss of $500.

Assumptions

  • Total acres = 100
  • Chemical cost per acre = $35
  • Yield increase per acre treated = 15 (bu/ac)
  • Price per bushel = $4

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Exercise #3 - 50% acres treated

This is where drone spraying starts to set itself apart from other methods of agrichemical application.


Using the provided assumptions, let's walk through the 50% Acres Treated Exercise.


In this case if you have 100 acres to spray and only 50 acres need treated, drone spraying is the only option that produces a profit.


A ground rig is still going to be confined to treating 100% of the field which will require greater chemical expense, manpower, time, etc. Given those factors you would lose $1200 spraying with a ground rig in this scenario.

Traditional aerial application will also not be a viable option for treating 50% off a field with precision. In this scenario you would lose $2,000.


Drone spraying allows targeted application directly to the areas needing treated. Since only 50% of the acres in this exercise needed treated, chemical costs are reduced by half which significantly increases profits. Drone spraying yields a $675 profit and a $1,875 positive swing in profitability compared to the next best option.

Assumptions

  • Total acres = 100
  • Chemical cost per acre = $35
  • Yield increase per acre treated = 15 (bu/ac)
  • Price per bushel = $4

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Exercise #4 - 25% acres treated

The numbers speak for themselves in our final exercise. This illustrates maximum output with minimum inputs...the ideal situation for anyone in agriculture.


Using the provided assumptions, let's walk through the 25% Acres Treated Exercise.


In this case if you have 100 acres, but only 25 acres need treated. In the past the options that traditional application methods would provide would be to spray the whole field and take a loss or take a chance and not spray anything and hope for a lesser loss.


Drone spraying provides a solution and a profit in this case of $338.


Spraying 100% of the field with a ground rig will cost you around $2,700 in losses.

Traditional aerial application would cost you around $3,500 in losses.


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Assumptions

  • Total acres = 100
  • Chemical cost per acre = $35
  • Yield increase per acre treated = 15 (bu/ac)
  • Price per bushel = $4