DJI AGRAS T40 & T20P丨Drones Replace Over 90% of Human Labor at “Asia’s Largest Mango Farm”

DJI AGRAS T40DJI AGRAS T20P

Zhang Yilin, a 55-year-old native of Sanya, Hainan, is the chairman of Yongren Zhelin Industrial Co., Asia’s largest single mango farm with a cultivation area of 4,000 hectares. Its base in Hainan is close to 1,300 hectares while in Yunnan it has another around 2,600 hectares. Dozens of varieties are grown in these orchards, from Tainung, Guifei to Jinhuang.

 

 

Yongren Zhelin Mango Base

 

 

An Unexpected Opportunity From an Abandoned Mango Farm

 

Due to the pandemic, the mango prices in Hainan suffered the worst crash in 10 years during April to June 2021. Zhang’s mangoes were almost worthless.

 

 

 

 

 

“I was thinking maybe I shouldn’t plant for late harvests next year. I should just focus on early harvests.”With his forecast, he decided to abandon his 270-hectare mango farm with over 200,000 trees, and dismissed most of his workers.

 

It was not until November when Zhang walked into the orchard by chance that the trees were sprouting surprisingly well in winter. “There were no pests at all.”

 

 

 

 

“It was also then that I realized I had miscalculated the market, that nobody harvests mangoes late in the year.”Zhang regretted his decision to abandon his orchard, but he would not be able to hire any new workers until after the Spring Festival. In a moment of desperation, Zhang called Zheng Mianpeng from Hainan Penghui Agricultural Technology and requested the assistance of an aerial crop protection team to tend to the shoots in his orchard.

 

 

Drones Turned Farm Operations Around, Helping to Generate 40 Million Yuan in Output

 

 

Two months later, after seeing how capable the drone was, Zhang immediately ordered more than 20 of the T30, followed by another 10 of the T40 to carry out various operations like flower inducing, flower and fruit protection, and pest and fungal eradication. In the end, after being cared for comprehensively with drones, the 200,000 mango trees that had originally been abandoned yielded over six million kilograms in harvest with a value of more than 40 million yuan. “This is arguably the first time we’ve carried out an aerial crop protection operation of this scale in Hainan.”

 

 

 

 

“Without the drones, I would have lost the income. The drones were a real lifesaver in my time of need,” Zhang said excitedly.

 

On May 4 this year, Yongren Zhelin used the T40 to spray fruit-protecting agents and fungicides on their Jinhuang mangoes. (Jinhuang mangoes were the size of broad beans and needed to be given additional fertilizers and sprayed with fungicides.)

 

 

 

Operation site

 

1. Operation Site Details

 

Operation Date May 4, 2022 Operation Site Shibanhe Base of Yongren Zhelin
Terrain Mountain, slopes Wind Speed 0
Weather Cloudy Air Temperature 25°C

 

 

2. Operation Parameters

   

Aircraft model T40 Flight speed 3 m/s
Relative height of crop 3.5 m Row width 5 m
Quantity used per hectare 120 L/ha Sprinkler model Centrifugal Sprinkler
  Fully autonomous planning operations

 

 

3. Fungicide Information

 

Active pesticide ingredients Quantity used per hectare Function
Kasugamycin 6% 1500 g/ml This pesticide was highly effective in preventing and treating fungal diseases, such as mycoses and angular leaf spot on mangoes. 

 

 

Key Takeaways:

 

Due to the steeper terrain and the relative height difference of 3.5 meters between the mango trees, the fungicide had to be mixed with more water and sprayed at a consumption rate of 120 L/ha. It is worth noting that an operation should be stopped when the winds reach Level 2 and above, as the centrifugal sprinkler on the T40 cannot withstand strong winds and a wind force of Level 2 or above will blow the droplets away and affect their even distribution. The parameters of the drone should be adjusted based on the site conditions at the time.

 

 

 

  

Agricultural Drones Are Perfect Substitutes for Over 90% of Manual Labor

 

Zhang shared his calculation with us: “At our orchard, we used to hire 14 workers to manage 47 hectares, and the labor and pesticide costs for a whole year would amount to three million yuan. Last year, it was just me and my wife as well as a few workers with our fleet of drones. This “drones + small team” mode not only saved us manpower but brought our final cost down to only 1.6 million yuan, for a yield of 850,000 kilograms with a value of over five million yuan and a profit of up to four million yuan. The drones replaced a dozen of workers and reduced pesticide consumption by 30% to 40%.”

 

 

 

 

“Some people don’t believe that drones can produce good mangoes, and that’s false. Drones can absolutely replace over 90% of human labor,” said Zhang with firm conviction.

 

“I also hope to share my experience with everyone so that you can learn from and replicate it.”

 

Zhang will also be deploying DJI agricultural drones for his 2.3 million mango trees in Yunnan this year. He plans to implement standardized operations and precise cost control at the orchard next year.

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