Ever since drones have captured the imagination of the agriculture industry, various farmers, retailers and agribusiness have used them to detect various problems on the farm. Check for stuck nozzles on a center pivot? Check. Conduct faster cattle counts? Check. Flyover a field to look for ponding issues? Check.
For the occasional on-farm task, a drone isn’t just a detector – it’s a doer. Such was the case for Monarch, Inc., a California-based company that designs, engineers and manufactures drones. The company performs the usual array of sky-high scouting services. But when they were approached by a local pistachio farmer about his bird problem, they devised an out-of-the-box solution.
“Farmers are really bothered and losing money because of birds,” says founder and CEO Eileen Shibley. “We integrated a bird-chasing device with speakers on one of our drones. The farmers love it.”
Now, the farmers can send up these high-tech scarecrows over tree nut farms. With the loud buzz of the rotors and a recording of more than 100 angry predators squawking through the speakers, the birds don’t stick around for very long.
Here’s a video of the Monarch on a test run.
Shibley says finding new uses for drones is one of the most rewarding aspects of working with this technology.
“We fly our Monarchs every day and, as a system engineering and integration house, we try out new concepts all the time,” she says.
For more information, visit http://monarchmakers.com/.