Spraying drones offer new approaches for user- and environment-friendly plant protection, enabling the targeted application of both organic and synthetic plant-protection products.
Comprehensive studies carried out by Agroscope showed that drift is slightly higher than with field spraying, but better than with blower sprayers. Based on the positive results, five federal agencies – the Federal Office for the Environment FOEN, the Federal Office of Civil Aviation FOCA, the Federal Office for Agriculture FOAG, the Federal Food Safety and Veterinary Office FSVO and the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs SECO have developed a process for the official certification of drones. All drones must now undergo this process.
Agroscope is responsible for the technical tests and authorisation.
In partnership with the Federal Food Safety and Veterinary Office FSVO, Agroscope is conducting a project intended to evaluate the risk of contamination to residents and passersby during drone-aided spraying. The trials will be conducted in a fruit production context.
The aim of the DronExpo project is to generate the necessary experimental data so that the FSVO can perform the risk assessment as part of approval, viz., to obtain values for dermal exposure, inhalation and ground sedimentation drift.
For greater realism, it is planned to use a measuring device including adult and child dummies. The spraying will be done over an orchard by an Agri.aero (DigitalRoots) DJI-Agras T30 drone.