As part of the Williamson Tea Foundation’s continued efforts to explore and develop new agricultural systems and enterprises for the good of the environment and the farms our team trialled a small remotely controlled drone over Changoi.
The old adage of ‘supervision, supervision and supervision’ being the key to good farm practice and crop management is still very much correct and drones have rapidly become common place in many agricultural industries throughout the world. Assisting management decisions through their ability to monitor, photograph and evaluate crops during their full life cycle. As well as reducing the need for the heavier footprints of vehicles and individual manual work, from distance the drones can see patterns and environmental impact on the crops.
The drone was flown on various sites around Changoi farm on pre-set routes, photographing areas of young and mature tea as well as firewood plantations. It was immediately obvious to the management team the huge number of benefits that could be achieved by regular flights managing the farms and surrounding firewood plantations.
To date drones and their corresponding software has been predominantly developed for cereal crops and it is believed that our trial over the tea fields was a world first! We are excited to see how the use of technology will continue to aid tea growing, production, sustainablity and agricultural management.