São Paulo, November 2020 – Among the countless applications of new technologies to optimize its results in the field, BP Bunge Bioenergia uses remote-controlled drones to disperse larvae of the Cotesia flavipes wasp in the sugarcane fields of its 11 units, aiming to carry out the biological control of the sugarcane borer, a species of moth larva that causes great productivity losses in the sugarcane crop.
Cotesias, which fight the crop pest by feeding on sugarcane borer, are deposited in containers and dispersed by the drones, based on a geo-referenced planning for better location efficiency, ensuring adequate results for biological management and replacing the work that was previously done manually.
This effort reduces the distribution time of the biological control agent and costs 15% to 20% less than the manual system, in addition to providing increased safety by avoiding, for example, exposing people to the risk of attacks by poisonous animals in the sugarcane fields. “The use of drones has contributed to the qualification of workers, both in equipment operation and in the preparation and management of activities”, says Rogério Augusto Bremm Soares, Agricultural Director, BP Bunge Bioenergia.
Furthermore, the company uses drones and UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles) to carry out the planialtimetric survey of the fields with the mapping of the terrain, which was previously done manually by topographers. “This equipment is also used to investigate planting failures in the sugarcane field; identify and locally spray weed-attacked areas; map sugarcane lines; and program the harvesters with automatic pilot during the harvest and also for the general monitoring of the crop”, adds Rogério.