Revolutionizing Weed Spraying in Pastures: Enhancing Working Safety, Protecting the Environment, and Reducing Costs by 50% with High-Resolution Imagery & DJI AGRAS T40



Pasture is a predominant land use for the globe's agricultural areas, with Australia ranking second in the world for countries with the most pasture lands. These lands are primarily grazed by beef, sheep, and dairy livestock. It is forecasted that the total value of livestock exports from Australian agriculture will reach 27.46 billion Australian dollars in the fiscal year of 2023.




One of the significant challenges faced in these pastures is the infestation of blackberries, a species that is notoriously difficult to control. If left untreated, blackberries can overrun entire paddocks, inhibiting the livestock's ability to move freely and graze. This scenario can lead to significant economic losses.



James Lyon, Director and Chief Pilot of Lyon AG Drone Solutions, has been providing mapping and spraying services on pastures for over two years. James initially entered the agricultural drone industry with the intention of utilizing AI to detect and spot spray nodding thistles, a noxious weed typically managed through traditional manual methods. Manual removal, however, cannot eradicate all the roots, and other methods such as burning or biological control may adversely affect the ecosystem. Through his experiments and practices, James found chemical control to be the most reliable method.



James’s initial idea of getting into the agriculture drone industry was to be able to AI detect and spot spray nodding thistles, a noxious weed that farmers typically spot spray through traditional methods, primarily manual spraying off quad bikes or side-by-sides. Manual removal can’t remove all the roots, burning might destroy the ecosystem, biological control has limited option and might bring risks to the local ecosystem. And chemical control is the most reliable method according to Jame’s experiments and practices.

So, he did quite a bit research into spray drones, mapping drones and started to provide service with a T20 two and a half years before.


To carry out this method, he undertook extensive research into spray drones and mapping drones and began to provide services with a T20 drone two and a half years ago.




1. Aerial surveying with Mavic 3M or other multispectral drones


These drones can survey 57 hectares in 30 minutes with centimeter-level accuracy. The drones' terrain-follow feature adjusts the flight height based on the actual terrain of the pasture field. The multispectral and RGB cameras efficiently monitor pasture growth and accurately identify weed locations.




2. DJI Terra Image Reconstruction – weed recognition (with AI tool)




3. Create 3D Flight Path




4. Agriculture drone operation (T40)



Operation Parameters



Agras T40

Flow rate



3 – 6 m depending on terrain and the height of trees

Line Space

7.5 m


18 km/hr (5 m/s)




Enhancing Operation Safety & Reducing Labor Intensity: The Significance of Agricultural Drones


Using drones in agriculture significantly enhances operational safety and reduces labor intensity. Pastures in Australia are often located on steep slopes, making it challenging for traditional machinery and vehicles to access them. Drone technology allows operators to work at a safe distance with minimal chemical exposure.






50% Cost Savings Achieved with 51% Chemical Reduction

Using agricultural drones for weed management can result in a 50% cost reduction and a 51% reduction in chemical usage. They cover various pasture management needs such as fertilizer management, weed control, pest and disease control, soil, and seed management. The benefits of these solutions are increasingly recognized in Gloucester, where James's service team is based.





Total Area

Area sprayed

Application cost

Chemical Cost

Total Cost


300 ha

153 ha

17,000 AUD

10,947 USD

38,250 AUD
24,631 USD

55,250 AUD
35579 USD


300 ha

300 ha

37,500 AUD

24,148 USD

75,000 AUD
48,297 USD

112,500 AUD 
72445 USD



Advancing Eco-Friendly Agriculture: Towards a Sustainable Future


In addition to the economic benefits, precision spraying reduces damage to the local ecosystem. Traditional spraying methods, like helicopter sprays, often result in non-targeted species being killed, causing unintended plant destruction and potential harm to local ecosystems.



Precision farming, which combines multispectral and agriculture drone technologies, is a revolutionary technique that enhances the efficiency and productivity of agricultural production. It allows farmers to apply fertilizers, insecticides, and herbicides accurately and sustainably, thus paving the way towards a sustainable future in agriculture.


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