Some growers and companies are embracing drone aerial technology for fungicide, insecticide, and foliar fertilizer applications. Certain drones are equipped with spreader boxes that have the capability to spread dry fertilizer, top dress corn or soybeans, and plant cover crop or soybean seed.  With this completely automated system, all one must do is punch in field parameters and the drone will make applications based on GPS. Because of this, precision of application and rate control can be superior to other application methods.  Applications can also be made when field conditions may not be fit for ground equipment. Growers now have various application options to choose from to best fit their operation’s needs.  We are at a transition point where many are using drones, but they are a very large investment and comes with FAA paperwork and liability. Drones may become more popular in the future depending on regulations.  If you are interested in drones, be sure to do research, talk to experienced operators, and continue to find resources on

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About the Author: Matt Herman

Matt Herman is a 2020 graduate of Southern Illinois University and majored in crop, soil, and environmental management with a minor in agribusiness economics. While attending SIU, he conducted undergraduate research on precision nitrogen management. Upon graduation, Matt was employed at Wabash Valley Service Company as a crop specialist where he earned his CCA certification. As a crop specialist, Matt managed growers' acres by recommending seed, chemical, fertilizer, and specialty products. After a year and a half, he decided to follow his passion in the seed industry and took a job with Burrus Seed as the Account Manager for Southeastern IL. Matt and his wife currently reside in Mt. Carmel, IL and farm with his grandfather in Claremont, IL. His passion lies in agronomy, and he thoroughly enjoys working with growers to help them achieve goals and ultimately increase their return on investment. He strives to continue to learn about new products and practices in order to stay up to date with the ever-changing agriculture industry. Matt is a certified commercial aerial applicator where he plans to use new drone technology to research various products on corn, soybean, and wheat acres.

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