It’s been a busy week for tractor manufacturer AGCO. On Aug. 4, the company announced it is adding a new unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) to its lineup that promises to be an easy-to-use field-mapping solution. And on Aug. 7, AGCO announced it will introduce factory integration of select Precision Planting technology to the company’s White Planters line.
The drone model, named the Solo AGCO Edition, comes with all-in-one hardware, software, service and support. It is built on the 3D Robotics Solo platform and takes advantage of a three-axis Solo Gimbal, swappable motor pods and accessory bay that allows easy future upgrades.
The drone has a max speed of 55 mph, allowing coverage of up to 60 acres in 20 minutes on a single fully-charged battery. Because the kit comes with four batteries, operators can therefore scout up to 240 acres, according to Jeff Punter, manager of purchasing for AGCO Parts.
“We thought through everything a farmer needs to not only scout their fields, but also collect useful data beneficial to managing their farm and improving yields and efficiency,” he says.
The kit also comes with two cameras for RGB and near-infrared imagery collection. It also includes one year of Agribotix imaging software for creating high resolution maps such as NDVI, field health and management zone maps.
Users don’t need to be tech-savvy to operate the UAV, assures Darren Parker director of sales and marketing for AGCO Parts. That’s because of features that include emergency in-air brake, auto takeoff and landing, and return-to-home functionality.
“You just need to be able to press launch,” he says.
With the Precision Planting agreement, White Planter data can be easily collected with Precision Planting technology and integrated into The Climate Corp’s digital agriculture platform. John Menssen, AGCO marketing manager, says the two companies’ shared focus on accuracy makes the pair-up a good fit.
“Our focus is to continue to achieve that high level of accuracy while giving farmers expanded access to the latest in top-performing technologies, practices and products,” he says.
AGCO has not yet announced which new options and models of White Planters will include Precision Planting products.