Eyes for the farm

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Ag-equipment manufacturer Silvan has taken its first step into precision agriculture by developing its very own unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), the Silvan Selecta FarmEyes.

Eyes for the farm
The Silvan Selecta FarmEyes UAV monitoring field trials of a prototype Silvan vineyard sprayer.

The new product will be released in the Silvan Selecta spring catalogue.

According to Silvan, the FarmEyes system is designed to aid on-farm project management by providing oversight of growing or production systems and rapid updates of work in progress.

Silvan Australia rep Michael Frost says the company has been keeping a close eye on the developments in UAV for a number of years prior to developing its own system.

"It’s exciting to now be at a time where the technology is reaching a point between its ability to collect useful information as well as being user friendly," he says.

"So Silvan commenced a research and development project that evaluated UAV systems, added technology including live high definition video feedback from the sky straight to hand that most agri-venture owners and managers couldn’t access without a full scale helicopter."

Frost adds Silvan’s ultimate aim with the FarmEyes UAV is to provide significant cost savings for farmers including labour and provide timelier responses to emerging situations.

"We had to find the right starting platform so we have reliability and room for further expansion and we settled on a Hexagonal six motor system which provides additional reliability, stability and recoverability that can safely land even with failure of a motor to better protect the investment and those nearby," he says.

The Selecta FarmEyes UAV system uses GPS and a number of sensors to fly safely and stably and according to Silvan is capable of holding position even in windy conditions.

"A picture says a thousand words and a simple flyover of a new crop or pastures every week or two starts to draw a unique picture of how things are going and help owners and managers make better informed decisions about irrigation, spraying and fertiliser usage," Frost says.

"In addition, monitoring of water troughs and pumps, irrigation and stock as well as assessment of flood or storm damage are all types of tasks that can be handled remotely."

For more information on Silvan’s new Selecta FarmEyes UAV system or visit www.silvan.com.au

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