Drone spraying is relatively new to the agricultural industry, and with that comes questions. We’ve compiled some of the most commonly asked questions that we hear when it comes to how the equipment works, what you need to Fly & Apply, and other considerations to think about.

Top Five Questions

1. Is drone spraying legal?

Drone spraying is allowed in the U.S. with proper licensing and certification. These requirements are mandated by both the FAA and state agriculture and business departments. Additional permission is required by the FAA for carrying hazardous material with a drone, swarming multiple drones, and operating drones over 55 pounds. Rantizo offers comprehensive support and training to ensure your team of pilots is expertly prepared for in-field applications and flying legal at all times.

2. What products can I apply with a drone?

Drones can be used for custom application of a variety of different agricultural inputs (and beyond). If the product label is approved for aerial use, a drone is allowed to apply it as well. Make sure to pay attention to rates and any other special requirements.

Aside from common liquid applications like fungicide and insecticide, drones can also be used to apply granular products like cover crops and micronutrients. Desired application rates are the main detail to pay attention to. Based on your FAA permissions for drone weight, payload capacities may or may not be well suited for efficient and cost-effective application of some dry products.

3. How many acres can a drone cover in a day?

In-field productivity of drones for custom application really depends on a number of variables: pilot proficiency, application rates, drone model, weather, ferrying times and more. Based on extensive testing by our R&D team, we have determined that the Agras T30 (the largest approved drone for use in the U.S.) can cover approximately 18 acres per hour at a 3 gallon-per-acre-rate.

4. How much does Rantizo charge per acre for drone application services?

Rantizo applications are provided by our national network of licensed, trained, and insured contractors. Contractors may bill at different rates based on field accessibility, pilot availability, equipment used, etc.

A large majority of Rantizo service providers bill at an hourly rate instead of by the acre. This is to account for setup, mapping and application time. Since our drone applications work best for site-specific treatments versus full field coverage, hourly billing aligns best with our method of balancing better results for the grower with cost-effective applications specifically where they’re needed and only where they’re needed.

5. How does the Rantizo contractor program work?

Rantizo offers a complete and turnkey system for custom drone application. This includes not just the drone equipment, but the training to use it safely, state licensing assistance, omni-channel technical and field operations support, and insurance. We also offer add-ons like our tendering solutions.

To become a Rantizo service provider and part of our national contractor network, purchase one of our business packages for custom drone applications, send your pilots through our comprehensive training program, and you're ready to go!

Application Service Contractors

The best drone for agricultural spraying greatly depends on the needs of your operation. This goes for the number of drones as well. If you are focused on servicing smaller fields, specialty crops, trial plots, or site-specific applications, a smaller drone under 55 pounds may suit you well. As a Rantizo partner you will also have permissions to swarm multiple drones (up to 3) simultaneously, although we generally recommend that you take the crawl, walk, run approach when it comes to drone spraying. If you are focused on larger acres or multiple service locations, a larger workhorse drone such as the Agras T30 may be your best option.

The drone sprayer does have multiple FPV (first person view) cameras depending on the drone model you select. This camera is for pilot visibility of field conditions, flight paths, and drone missions. This camera is not designed for capturing field imagery for NDVI or other data analytics. There are other drones built to be used in tandem with various software programs for this. Rantizo is pleased to offer our contractor network exclusive pricing for Pix4DFields imagery software.

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Drones for agricultural applications offer a new opportunity for ag retailers and agribusinesses looking to stay on the cutting edge of agriculture. Rantizo does not see our drone application systems as a replacement for ground rigs or other aerial application methods like airplanes or helicopters. Instead, we see drones as another tool to add to your toolbox to better serve your customers and optimize productivity. In other words, our drones can get into places that are hard to access with larger equipment, such as field edges, buffer zones or site-specific areas in a field. As a result, we can take care of those areas while other application equipment keeps moving and maximizing productivity in the areas they were designed for.

Rantizo knows drones and we know ag.

Our team is consistently pushing the drone spraying industry forward and setting the standards for safe, legal, and productive custom drone applications. 

As a contractor, we treat our relationship like a partnership. We aren’t just trying to sell you a drone and let you figure out the rest. We will stand by you with comprehensive training, omni-channel support, continuing education and overall customer service that is second to none.

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Rantizo does not currently offer any leasing options. However, we do work with a third-party financing partner and can provide introductions if financing is needed.