SkyWrx: Starting an Agriculture Drone Services Business

Last month, the COPTRZ team had the pleasure of catching up with a long-standing customer, Ben Storer of SkyWrx.

Ben first contacted COPTRZ over 18 months ago in the initial stages of starting up his agriculture drone services business. With the help of COPTRZ, Ben’s business has gone from strength-to-strength, and he recently received a full feature in DRONE magazine. Read on to find out more about how SkyWrx was launched and what their plans are for the future.

Opportunity

Based in Gainsborough, Lincolnshire, SkyWrx provides aerial data services to help precision agriculture farmers improve their crop efficiencies. The business was founded by Ben Storer after he spotted an opportunity to use drones as a way of helping farmers improve their crop yields and provide a better return on investment. Ben explains: “Agriculture is increasingly short on time, labour and resources, which means a farmers margins can be very tight. Any form of automation, data collection and analysis will always reduce these pressures and the use of UAVs can be a key tool
in this.”

With the use of drones, SkyWrx are able to provide vital information and data about crops so decisions can be made quicker and farmers can specifically target applications of expensive fertiliser and pesticides. “My plan is for SkyWrx to become the leading Agriculture service provider in the UK with extending operations in Africa, Asia and South America.”

Ben Storer of SkyWrx

Challenge

During the startup phase of the business, Ben stressed the importance of finding an equipment provider who could evaluate his requirements and put together a package solution for his business. With such technical data output required, the chosen supplier would need to have access to drones, multispectral cameras and land surveying processing software. “I didn’t just want a company who would simply sell me a drone, I wanted to work with a commercially-focussed drone company who would give me honest and direct information so I could make the right decision for me and my business.

One of my main priorities was to find a DJI Enterprise Partner who could supply a complete range of DJI equipment. DJI drones will be the core of the company’s multirotor fleet as they are easy to maintain, fly and are reliable along with being able to be adapted to different tasks.”

Solution

After some lengthy research into drone equipment suppliers, Ben decided to meet up with the COPTRZ team for an initial consultation. COPTRZ we’re able to assess the required data outputs and recommend a complete drone solution package which included a DJI Inspire 2, DJI Zenmuse X4S Camera, Parrot Sequoia Multispectral Camera, Ground Station and Pix4D AG Licence.

By using both a multispectral sensor along with the high-quality RGB camera, SkyWrx fulfilled their aim in being able to offer a full suite of applications to customers from inspection reports to plant health maps. Ben explains: “The information and advice COPTRZ provided on which UAV will be best for me along with sensors and cameras was invaluable. COPTRZ have been extremely supportive with anything technical to do with any DJI product since I made the investment.

The equipment that was supplied has been robust and able to survive in potentially hostile environments for electronic equipment (dusty, foggy, light precipitation, heat, cold, high winds, high voltage areas, both damp/soft landing areas) making it ideal for the open exposed areas that I use the UAV in.”

Results

With the recommended drone package, SkyWrx has been able to provide the following data sets for their agricultural clients:

• NVDI Maps
• Disease Monitoring
• Weed Identification
• Environmental Regulation Support
• Scouting
• Land Modelling
• Insurance Support.

SkyWrx Results

Starting a drone business? Speak to the experts

If you’re in the process of starting your commercial drone services business, speak to COPTRZ and our friendly team can point you in the right direction when it comes to training, kit and software. Contact us or call 0330 111 7177.


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