Ag Drone Startup Launches, Looks to Revolutionize Industry Through Crop Imaging
LAFAYETTE, IN – Garnering national attention with its determination to transform the ag industry and crop efficiency through drone technology, startup company Aerial Agriculture, LLC has launched its operations.
"Our technology can pinpoint crop areas that need more attention, which allows farmers to then apply more inputs and address potential crop issues immediately, as opposed to after the fact," said Austin Deardorff, Aerial Agriculture Co-Founder and a student in Purdue's College of Engineering. "We expect our clients to get a full return on their investment, if not make money from using our service."
Aerial Agriculture expects its in-house built drones to reduce the amount of excess fertilizer and input costs for farmers, while increasing a company’s yields at the same time, according to Phys.org. Using the drones to capture multispectral images of entire crops, the imagery can then be compiled into maps which will directly portray the health of the crop.
The company has recently upgraded its camera, which can now collect a total of four different spectral bands, relaying reportedly extremely accurate data. These specialized cameras allow agronomists to determine the nitrogen and fertilizer that needs to be applied in specific areas throughout a field, thus resulting in the savings and subsequent heightened yields.
Composed of undergraduates of Purdue University’s College of Engineering, Deardorff said that the company’s inspiration came from team discussions about how expensive ag drones can be, and how the technology could be utilized better and more cheaply.
The company is already making headway with the following list of acknowledgements and funding achievements:
- Various funding sources through entrepreneurship and commercialization accelerator, Purdue Foundry
- First place and $5,000 price at Purdue’s Mini-Accelerator Competition
- $20,000 in last round of funding from Elevate Purdue Foundry Fun First-Tier Black Awards
Deardoff also stated that the company has been appreciative of the resources and connections Aerial Agriculture received from Purdue Foundry. Members of the company include Purdue students Justin Kinney, Tyler Landers, Justin Sutcliff, Taylor Wetli, Angelo DeFlora, Suzanne Bagnoli, and Paul Pratt.
Will the company find success in the industry for its unique drone-implemented ag focus? And can companies utilizing the technology consistently raise their yields and lower costs?
As the company continues to make waves with this blend of drones and crop health, AndNowUKnow will have the latest.