October 4, 2023

WELLINGTON, Ohio (WJW) — A young entrepreneur in Lorain County is riding the wave of the future by harnessing the power of drones to improve the agriculture business. 

Ethan Moore, 22, of Wellington, learned about drones while attending Wellington High School and then began to focus on using the technology in agribusiness after witnessing how traditional crop duster planes damaged the apple trees and bee colonies on his family’s property.

“The EPA, Europe, everybody has said we need to use less pesticides, we need to protect our planet, we need to protect our environment,” said Moore.

Moore is currently using a DJI Agras T-40 drone that is equipped with a ten-gallon tank for pesticides and can also be switched to a spreader tank to spray farm fields. 

“What’s cool about the software on board is that once the tank is empty, the drone knows and turns around and flies back to where it took off from, so we can refill it,” he said.

Moore, who is also a nurse in the ICU at Mercy Medical Center in Lorain, says the design of the drone is ideal for dusting crops.

“You can see the propellers, so when they fly over the field, it’s pushing the pesticides down into the crop canopies and it’s overturning leaves so that the pesticide can really adhere to all of the surfaces of the crop,” he said.

Capitalizing on growing concerns about the impact of pesticides and over-spraying, Moore has now launched his own company, Lake Erie Drone, to offer drone chemical spraying technology to farmers across Northeast Ohio, and he had to clear a number of regulatory obstacles to get his drone license.

“The FAA is very serious about safety and because this drone is over 55 pounds. It’s more aircraft than drone in the eyes of the FAA,” he said.

Moore plans to eventually use the camera technology on the drone to identify specific areas of farm fields that need to be sprayed, which will cut down on the amount of chemicals that he needs to use. In some cases, so-called “spot spraying” has cut the use of pesticides in a field by more than 60%.

Moore says he believes drone technology will increase the amount of crops each field will yield, and improve the bottom line of each farm.

“We’ve all been the victim of the increased cost of food, so any way that we can create more food and try to bring the price down, I mean everybody benefits from this technology,” he said. 

Moore has launched a new website, www.LakeErieDrone.com, where local farmers can learn more about the drone technology and request a free quote.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *