According to the UN, up to 40% of global food production is lost due to pest damage. Conventional treatments rely on chemicals which: don’t always reach where pests hide such as beneath leaves and in crevices, are becoming less effective due to increasing behavioral and chemical resistance, and are also facing tighter restrictions due to a growing awareness of health and environmental concerns.
Fortunately, biological control
using a pest’s natural enemies to control populations
is a proven method used by both organic and non-organic growers. However, logistical issues are constraining more rapid growth. Applications take 5-20 people and the industry is facing a labor shortage in the US and worldwide. Crops in difficult or flooded terrain often can’t be reached, and for tall crops such as nut trees there is no easy way to release natural enemies into the canopies. This leaves a major market for biological control significantly underserved. Providing an integrated pest management service which can reach crops when and where people can’t is a critical need.
That is, until now. Drawing upon experience leading agriculture research at UC Davis and global drone operations for the US Air Force, UAV-IQ’s team of experts is poised to release a groundbreaking service. After a year of field work, UAV-IQ is launching a drone-performed biological control application technology: Drones, equipped with hardware calibrated to release insects and mites which feed upon pests, are flown over crop fields to provide crop protection. Demand is strong, and UAV-IQ is making it scalable by designing software systems capable of intelligently navigating challenging environments so licensed drone operators don’t require extensive additional training to fly these missions.