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【Chinese Aerial Crop Protection Industry Watch】Wynca Group: Committed to the complete industry chain development of aerial crop protectionqrcode

Jul. 9, 2024

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Jul. 9, 2024

Editor’s note: According to relevant data, by the end of 2023, plant protection UAVs' capacity reached 200,000 units in China. They served an application area of over 2.1 billion mu (140 million Ha), especially with the continued rise in the application to control of rice and wheat pests and diseases. China has become the country with the largest capacity of agriculture drones in the world and the most extensive application area, leading the global aerial application operations in respect of annual operating area, application volume and technical level. 


With the gradual popularization of aerial application, problems are also emerging daily, such as the lack of particular pesticides for aerial application, lack of a sound administration system, lack of effective industry or national standards, lack of professional operator team, and satisfactory social service system. As a critical factor in aerial application,  the aerial application-oriented particular pesticides remain as one of the problems that need to be solved urgently. 


Prime aerial crop protection players have successively upgraded their existing products, or developed new formulations to better match the needs of aerial application scenarios. In addition to making efforts on product and technology, some companies are committed to the whole industrial chain development for aerial application by providing farmers with an integrated ″product + service″ solution.


In light of the existing problems, key players have made suggestions and called for improvement to the administration system as early as possible, wishing to participate in the establishment of effective industry standards or national standards, as well as establishment of a stable and professional pilot organizations. At the same time, the entire industrial chain is required to collaborate closely so as to enable a high-quality development of the aerial crop protection industry.


Recently, AgroPages invited some key players in this field to discuss and analyze the problems and challenges faced by aerial applications, share solutions, practical experiences and forecast the future. These companies include Noposion, Wynca, Syngenta , Bayer CropScience, Guangxi Tianyuan and Jiangxi Zhengbang. In this article, Qian Zhigang, Deputy Director of Crop Protection R&D Center of Wynca shared his insights.


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Qian Zhigang, Deputy Director of Crop Protection R&D Center of Wynca


Can you share Wynca’s aerial crop protection industry layout, promotion, and practices? What are the development plans for the future?


Since 2016, Wynca has been making deployments in the aerial crop protection industry, being committed to aerial application of crop protection products, development of spraying machines and application technologies. The unique advantage of Wynca’s aerial application lies in its ″seed-pesticide-fertilizer-aerial application″ system focusing on field crops such as wheat, corn, and rice with coverage of particular crops including tea and betel nut; Wynca provides farmers with the ″product + service″ one -stop service. Meanwhile, large platforms are established to incorporate resources that link the upstream service providers and the downstream service demanders to enable the sharing of information and efficient operation of aerial applications. 


In 2023, Wynca conducted direct aerial applications to more than 2 million mu(0.133 million Ha) of cropland and indirect aerial applications to more than 3 million mu (0.2 million Ha) of cropland, via the supply of crop protection products..


What are the challenges and countermeasures in developing, producing, and applying aerial crop protection products? What are the primary technical difficulties requiring urgent action?


Due to the special features of aerial application, there are several typical characteristics and challenges:


  • Low dilution factor. The dilution of conventional pesticides is 500-2000 fold while the dilution factor of aerial application is 30-50 fold or lower; spraying of high-concentration pesticides has an extremely high requirement on the safety of pesticides. We eliminate or mitigate the hazards of high-concentration spraying by using mild and environment-friendly solvents, a reduced dosage of solvents, and the addition of safeners. 


  • High compatibility requirement. The mixed use of multiple pesticides is widespread in aerial application, which involves various types of formulations such as SL, EC, SC, and WDG, as well as multiple components, including pesticides, foliar fertilizers, and synergistic adjuvants. If crystallization and flocculation occur after mixing, there will be not only a mechanical problem, such as nozzle blockage, but phytotoxicity will also result from uneven spraying. We solve the compatibility problem for aerial applications by selecting water-based and environment-friendly formulation types, screening high-quality surfactant combinations, and using nano-technology.


  • Anti-drifting. Drift is the most typical paint point of aerial application. On the one hand, we control the particle size of spraying solutions through optimal combination of solvent and surfactant, prompting rapid depositing on leaves and reducing drift. On the other hand, through upgrading of equipment and technology, advanced nozzles and spray control technology are introduced to control the droplet size. 


At present, application technology is still a critical challenge to aerial applications. Firstly, differentiated solutions to control different objects in different regions must be further explored, especially the resistance levels of some control objects to certain pesticides in the different areas, which require more segmented and differentiated product development. Secondly, the value of aerial application products still needs to be explored and reflected correctly. Aerial application has become a widespread way of application of pesticides. However, its value still needs to be explored and appropriately reflected in the application, as aerial application-targeted product development is quite tricky.


Looking at the entire industry chain or ecosystem of aerial application, what issues need to be solved urgently to facilitate the industry development towards a new level? What are your expectations and recommendations to government and industry players?


  • Undetermined administrative organ. At present, China has not yet established a sound administration system governing the aerial crop protection industry, so there is no determined independent authority to effectively supervise the operations of aerial application and promotion of technology, which leads to the existence of a lot of issues in aerial application.


  • Lack of quality standard. At present, crop protection drones have been widely used, which are still being developed and upgraded constantly. However, the market lacks a complete set of quality standard, allowing entry of a lot of inferior crop protection drones into the market, which is a serious adverse impact on the market operation, being harmful to the development of aerial application. 


  • Lack of standardized aerial operation procedure and professional operators. In terms of drone operation, the operator’s techniques and man-machine operation are not proficient enough, which may result in technical incidents or poor crop protection effects; the degree of professionalism in the selection and proportioned use of aerial crop protection pesticides is inadequate. 


Expectations and recommendations:


  • To establish standardized quality standards, laws, and regulations. The administrative organ of aerial application needs to be determined as early as possible; a more standardized administration system and industry standards need to be established, and effective industry supervision and management need to be strengthened. As such, the aerial application will become an industry sector that can be ″standardized and regulated″ very soon. This will ensure the standardization of the aerial application of protection crop products and technology to promote the healthy development of the aerial crop protection industry. 


  • To build a stable and professional pilot organization. At present, part-time, shallow professional, and highly-fluctuated pilots are very common in the aerial application operations, which pose a great hidden danger to aerial application. It is important that a standardized pilot organization be set up to coordinate pilot resources, deploy pilots in a unified manner, improve efficiency, and reduce waste of resources; training of pilots needs to be organized to improve the skills of aerial application and the effects of crop protection as well as to reduce operation incidents. 


Can you predict the future development trend of the aerial crop protection industry?


With the advancement of efficient farming and the development of intelligent agriculture, the mechanization and intelligence level of crop protection are further improved, which has increased the industry scale rapidly in recent years. In future, crop protection drones are destined to be more and more intelligent, more and more convenient to operate, fewer restrictions on users, with more and more application scenarios. From conventional spraying of pesticides to the current drone sowing, drone fertilization, drone pesticide spraying, the functions of drones are getting more powerful, having created several important impacts on pesticide production: 1) Pesticide manufacturers begin to take the initiative to develop water-based types of formulations which are more fit to aerial application; 2) Agricultural material suppliers are more active in participating in aerial application, switching from the previous pesticide sales to direct pesticide application to farmland, which enhances competitiveness and user stickiness.



This interview was published in AgroPages '2024 Formulation&Adjuvant Technology' magazine. Click the following picture to Read/Download. 


If you'd  like to share your company's story and solutions or have any promotion demands, please contact Grace Yuan: grace@agropages.com 


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Source: AgroNews

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