Rantizo Approved For Agricultural Drone Spraying by FAA First and only company in Iowa to receive approval
−− Iowa City agritech startup Rantizo receives the go ahead from Federal Aviation Administration to provide drone spraying services in Iowa
Jul. 12, 2019
This week, Rantizo became the first company in Iowa to be legally authorized to use drones for aerial application of agrichemicals. The first applications will be for fungicide in corn and spreading cover crop seeds to wet areas.
“Our drone technology had been ready for a few months; we just needed the regulatory landscape to get sorted out,” Rantizo CEO, Michael Ott explained. “Building the technology is the easy part,” he continued.
With record levels of rainfall this year resulting in delayed planting of corn crops, the approval for Rantizo’s drone based services could not have come at a more beneficial time for Iowa farmers.
“Rain prohibited farmers from getting their corn crops in within the timeline they are used to this year. When I last checked at the end of June, only 96% of corn crop had been planted whereas typically they’re at 100% by this time,” Ott explained. “This will undoubtedly affect yields,” he continued, citing that the USDA recently lowered the national average corn yield projection to 166 bushels per acre.
Rantizo, an Iowa City based agtech startup specializing in drone spraying for agriculture, achieved a milestone crucial to not only their business, but the evolution of technology for improved field practices.
Currently, aerial application in agriculture is done by way of a manned aerial aircraft (commonly known as crop dusters), and although drone application is also done aerially, the nature of this new technology required refinement and often times navigation of uncharted territory throughout the regulatory path to viability.
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