«The war has slowed down the development of the latest technologies in agriculture»

Many years of experience allow Yevhen Yanchenko to predict a technological boom in plant cultivation. Yevhen is a drone operator who works across the country and shares the acquired knowledge with others. He even developed his own solutions for the agricultural industry.

From an ordinary hobby to the professional consulting

I became interested in radio-controlled model aircraft back in 2009. At first, it was just a hobby. 

Around that time, devices such as copters began to appear. Initially, they were used exclusively for aerial photography. It took some time for global manufacturers to start ​​producing specialized flying equipment to solve industry problems. So my friend and I designed our first devices for work in agriculture by ourselves.

Future drone operators are being trained. Personal archive.

The combination of hardware and software changed everything

Technology developed rapidly. We operated the first copters by using the remotes. But with software development, the technology became more “independent.” Around that time, the concept of “drone” – a programmed flying device – was established. Systems for performing various tasks in agriculture began to appear: they combined constructive and software solutions.

The benefit of using drones is obvious: they do not trample plants and save fuel. They can also help to decrease the amount of chemicals used by up to 30%. It became possible to spray individual plots of land, inspect fields, monitor the state of the harvest, and perform many other tasks. Productivity increases and crop losses decrease as the latest technologies open up opportunities for improving people’s professional qualifications.

Drones became popular in Ukrainian fields

Why are the copters used more widely in agriculture in Ukraine than elsewhere on the European continent? More agricultural drones are also sold here. The reason lies in the different state regulations on using such devices.

In some European countries, the flight range is limited. For example, a copter should not disappear from an operator’s sight while flying behind tall corn. Sometimes even the power of radio transmitters is regulated, and it is impossible to work on large agricultural lands with low-power transmitters.

The war interrupted the beginning of the agricultural season

Maybe not completely, but significantly. It was still possible to work in the western and central regions of Ukraine. However, absolutely everyone felt the impact of the war. Many people had left to save their lives. They came back later, but the first two months at the beginning of spring are critical to preparing the equipment and getting to work. Copters, by the way, can be used very effectively in spring when the soil is wet and the tractor cannot drive into the field.

As for me, I did not have to work close to the front line. But I know that my colleagues are working there. Many people are still afraid to come back because of the shellings and the danger of mines left in the fields.

Service companies were affected the most by the war due to a very slow supply of components. Delivery time has increased significantly, and prices along with it. There are fewer problems with the chemicals, but the prices still went up because of the logistics complications.

Joint efforts are aimed at getting closer to victory

Agricultural drones cannot be used in the military field. However, there are components for developing the systems that our soldiers need. And domestic design experience comes in handy here. Together with colleagues, we deliver parts for the drones that the Armed Forces of Ukraine require.

Unfortunately, the war has slowed down the development of the latest technologies in agriculture. We expect substantial progress in the future. And if the necessary laws are adopted, a new industry will emerge in Ukraine. We will increase the use of drones in agriculture and other fields of the Ukrainian economy.

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