DRONES ATTACKING PESTS: Drone That pilot Roger Fairest conducting a controlled pest spray at Banapan Citrus. Picture: Sam Turner
DRONES ATTACKING PESTS: Drone That pilot Roger Fairest conducting a controlled pest spray at Banapan Citrus. Picture: Sam Turner

Drones brought in to fight aggressive pest

DRONES have been enlisted in the war against pests in the North Burnett.

Banapan citrus have begun using drone technology to spray for pests on their farm along the Burnett Hwy, outside Gayndah.

Michael Harris from Banapan Citrus said his blue grass pasture was recently affected by the leaf hopper pest, and wanted to think outside the box to protect his crop.

"I wanted to do it because I'm harvesting the seed, as the initial heading of the seed is where I get the most return," Mr Harris said.

"If I run it down with tractors I'll be losing a lot of volume, so I thought the cost of a drone compared to a traditional spray would even out.

"I'd even stand to gain a little bit more."

 

The blue seed pasture at Banapan Citrus outside Gayndah. Picture: Sam Turner
The blue seed pasture at Banapan Citrus outside Gayndah. Picture: Sam Turner

 

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Drone That pilot Roger Fairest said the pest had run rampant through part of the pasture, with the use of the drone's pesticides starting to control it.

"It has already stopped on the sap of the plant, so the seeds might not happen now for some of it," Mr Fairest said.

"It's done a little bit of damage because it's flowering."

For blue grass, the heads of the crops need to stand constantly up, according to Mr Fairest.

"You want to avoid spraying them really hard, or driving through them to knock them over," he said.

Mr Harris he'll be able to harvest these seeds to a large seed company, which will be used to improve farmer's pastures across Australia.

"It's been pretty efficient using the drone. All you have to look out for is a strong breeze," Mr Harris said.

"After that, the pest will be completely gone."



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