In cooperation with the Faculty of Agriculture and Life Sciences and a larger agriculture company from Dravsko polje, we started with the first trials of using drones in agriculture. After the initial tests, the system was incorporated into practice, for wheat and rapeseed fertilization.
During the first phases, we observed the development of wheat and rapeseed on approximately 300 ha of land. The inspections were performed six times: before each fertilization phase, after fertilization, during ripening and just before harvesting.
With each inspection before fertilization, differences in crops were spotted, which stemmed from soil structure discrepancies. Based on the latter and additional nitrogen tests, the intensity of fertilization was adjusted on individual areas:
- Dosing in quality areas remained the same;
- Dosing in lower-quality areas was reduced.
The latter was reasonable because due to a lower-quality of soil structure in those areas, there is a smaller amount of crop and it possesses a lower ability of fertilizer retention. Up to 24% lower amount of artificial fertilizer, the cost of production and environmental impact were reduced without the impact of reducing the amount of crop.
For the variable application of artificial fertilizers, a spreader of the Vikon brand was used and steered through a terminal on Kverneland Tellus Pro.