Native seeding with a drone

Flown by John Scott, Purdue Extension Digital Agriculture Coordinator

This project was completed at Ivy Tech in Lafayette, Indiana and in collaboration with Ivy Tech agriculture faculty, the Tippecanoe Soil and Water Conservation District, Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), and Purdue’s wildlife extension specialist Jarred Brook.

The pilot frost seeded native-type grasses and forbes, mimicking a natural dispersion on a large mound created from the excavation of a retention pond. The mound is approximately four acres and 2-feet tall from base to peak. We used the DJI Agras MG-1P and spread a mixture of native seeds with pelletized lime as a carrier at approximately 50 pounds per acre. This was conducted on January 27 with temperatures in the 20s (Fahrenheit) and a morning snow. After application, the spread was checked by walking across the mound and observing the dispersal pattern in the snow. Extension was pleased to see that the spread pattern was similar to that of seed dispersal observed for fall cover crops.

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