UAV-IQ and Koppert Introduce Drone-based Aerial Biocontrol Technology
Jul. 25, 2019
Several years of internal research and development were conducted by Koppert’s Netherlands-based R&D team to ensure that their beneficial insects and mites not only survive the process but are at their peak readiness to prey on pests. UAV-IQ’s Vice President of Agriculture, Robert Starnes, previously Senior Superintendent of Agriculture at UC Davis, was heavily involved in the extensive field trials conducted in California. Together, the teams at UAV-IQ and Koppert are confident that the early results warrant scaling this service throughout California this year and beyond in 2020.
The earliest adopters of this service tended to be existing Koppert clients, in particular, who already understood the advantages of using beneficials in their farms and saw drones as a more efficient and effective means of distribution. However, drones offer a way for crops which are not traditionally as heavy consumers of biological control treatments due to their logistical challenges to start incorporating them more robustly into their IPM plans. This summer, several nut growers and nurseries growing ornamental trees have begun using UAV-IQ’s services since they provide a method of releasing beneficials directly into tops of canopies for the first time.
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