Future of Spraying in Farm Fields Involves Drones

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IOWA -- An Iowa company is pioneering the next level of agricultural tech to use drones in farm fields.

Michael Ott, the CEO of Rantizo, says, "We think of it like a Roomba for a field. Where it goes out and applies just where it needs to go. That's our long term vision."

Rantizo wants to use drones for a host of agricultural spraying needs and soon the company will be the first in Iowa to be able to.

Founded last year, Rantizo has nearly gotten FAA approval for agriculture drones. Now the company is filing for patents on their products.

Hoping to eliminate yield loss to soil compaction and drift, drone spraying gives much more availability and access. Flying does not need to wait for the same conditions heavy machinery does to enter the field. Also, they hope to reduce pesticide use by only putting products where it needs to go, helping slow down weed resistances.

Ott says they are building a platform for spraying, hopefully with the ability to automate the process and free up farmers' time, "In the long term, we want to have swarms of drones applying chemicals. Precisely when they're needed, where they're needed. So, with that, you'll actually reduce the amount of agrochemicals and apply them locally. We'll be able to gather data on what works and what doesn't."

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