Tech Journal - September 2019

09:50AM Aug 14, 2019
Farm Journal's Tech Journal
Farm Journal's Tech Journal
(; Lindsey Benne )

Successful Applications Made Via Drone

Ag tech startup Rantizo is working to lead in-field applications via drone. In Iowa, it’s the first company to receive Federal Aviation Administration approval to conduct spraying applications via drone in agricultural fields.

“Our drone technology had been ready for a few months; we just needed the regulatory landscape to get sorted out,” says Rantizo CEO, Michael Ott. “Building the technology is the easy part.”

The company’s octocopter drones weigh 55 lb., with a 14' spray boom, and can apply 100 acres in a day. With terrain compensation, the drones apply 3' to 5' above the crop. The drone can make an application within 1 to 3 meters of the spray target using standard GPS, or 3 cm with RTK.

The Rantizo platform provides a fully automated flight.  

“Legally, you have to hold the controller, but with the right training, you don’t have to do anything else during the flight,” Ott says.

According to the company, their platform can be cost competitive with aerial rates at $10 to $12 per acre. Next year, they are working on a technology upgrade to make their applications in-line with ground rig rates.

Ott says a complete Rantizo system ranges from $20,000 to $25,000. This spring the company has applied corn fungicide, spread cover crop seeds and made applications in hemp crops.

“AgriTalk” host Chip Flory recently featured Rantizo CEO Michael Ott on a segment. Learn more about how the drone technology works at

Tool Provides Analysis Down to the Square Yard

Are there parts of the field not worth planting? Could I get by on cheaper seed? Which seeding rate gives me the best yield? Did I need to do that last spray application?

These frequently asked questions are at the heart of a new tool from Conservis. Zone Economics provides cost-based farm activity analysis down to the square yard. This will enable growers to compare and evaluate the economic efficiency of their field practices, according to Conservis.

Zone Economics requires equipment be connected to Climate FieldView or John Deere Operations Center. As-applied and yield data then combines with Conservis costs and activities, bringing growers an in-field economic analysis that paints the full picture, according to Conservis.

The tool allows growers to do side-by-side comparisons of field and activity performance. Costs and activities function as stackable layers that can be selected to readily view application and yield analysis, allowing growers to see everything that happened on that field in a single view.

Learn more at