COVAP continues to support innovation and development and has carried out its first pilot test with a drone, to achieve improvements and better efficiency in the agricultural industry.

On October 4, a test run was carried out with an unmanned fixed-wing “eBee” model, developed by the INRA for the control of forage maize in the field. The flight, carried out by Moisés Giménez from the company Tvant, took place at the El Rivero estate (Posadas). This first test was attended by José M. Gómez (a farmer), Rodrigo Barbudo, Juan López and Antonio Quijada from COVAP’s Agriculture Department, Jomi Bernad from Alltech, Marco Barrera from Maïsadour and Antonio Serrano from CICAP.

The aim of the flight was to gain first-hand knowledge of the operation of an unmanned fixed-wing vehicle, how to perform take-off and landing, how the estate's coordinates were entered for the flight and the time the flight took.

The estate under study occupies 15 hectares of land, of which 13 hectares have been planted with forage maize. Two flights were carried out, one with a multi-spectrum camera and the other, using a thermal camera. Each flight lasted around 15 minutes and next Monday, we will receive the interpretation of the results (carried out by the Dept. of Topography and Teledetection of UCO - University of Cordoba) and the maps obtained by both cameras, for subsequent evaluation. Further sampling will be carried out to confirm the results obtained from the air.

The use of drones for the control of agricultural crops makes it possible to obtain data during the early stages of the crops in the whole estate, in a fast and simple manner to aid decision making.