AcuSpray drone, truck, and trailer display at AgroExpo in St. Johns

Reflections on the AgroExpo in St. Johns

The AgroExpo in St. Johns, Michigan, is not just another agricultural event; it’s a gathering where innovation meets tradition, and this year was no exception. With farmers, industry experts, and curious spectators coming from near and far, this event provided the perfect platform for discussions, demonstrations, and dialogue on the future of farming. It is a space where every visitor is both a teacher and a learner, sharing experiences and gaining new insights into modern agricultural practices.

At the heart of this year’s event, with a presence that was hard to miss, was AcuSpray. Our team arrived with a mission: to showcase how cutting-edge spray drone technology can blend seamlessly with agriculture, elevating it to new heights of efficiency and sustainability. The buzz surrounding our agricultural spray drone demonstrations was palpable from day one. Attendees circled our booth and demo area with curious eyes and eager questions, anticipating a firsthand look at a technology that promises to revolutionize farming as we know it.

A trend we noticed, mirrored by conversations we had with many of the attendees, is the growing interest among farmers in purchasing spray drones for personal use on their farms. The promise of technology is compelling, yet there are misconceptions regarding the ease of use of these drones. Many farmers, after attempting to navigate the intricate licensing requirements and operational challenges, have opted to sell the drones they initially purchased.

Our COO, Aaron Duval, explains the reality behind the regulatory landscape: “To comply with all legal and regulatory requirements, AcuSpray operates under the necessary exemptions and certifications for agricultural aircraft operations. We have obtained an exemption under 14 CFR part 11 and an agricultural aircraft operator certificate under 14 CFR part 137,” he states.

“Each pilot must acquire a 14 CFR part 107 remote pilot certificate. Given these drones weigh more than 55 pounds, they must also abide by the provisions of 49 USC Section 44807 (Special Authority for Certain Unmanned Systems). Moreover, pilots are required to have a Part 61 medical certificate, ensuring they are physically and mentally fit to operate the drones safely,” Duvall continues.

He adds, “Pilots must also obtain the necessary National Commercial Certifications and State Supplemental Certifications, receiving endorsements for various field crops. The only step a farmer wouldn’t have to do is get the commercial applicator’s license. Everything else is required. For this reason, it often makes more sense for farmers to outsource this work to a company that is licensed and insured, like AcuSpray.”

AcuSpray is not in the business of selling drones; we are in the transformative business of custom application services. Our demonstrations at the AgroExpo were not just about the drones themselves, but about illustrating the real, tangible benefits they can bring to farms right here in Michigan.

AcuSpray’s Unveiling: More Than a Showcase

As the propellers of AcuSpray’s spray drone started to spin, a palpable wave of curiosity swept over the crowd gathered at the AgroExpo. It wasn’t merely a demonstration; it was the unveiling of a future where spray drones are seamlessly integrated into farming practices, making agriculture more efficient, sustainable, and precise.

Throughout the Expo, our team had the privilege of engaging in countless insightful conversations with farmers. The interest was evident in their eyes, their pointed questions reflecting both excitement and thoughtful consideration. For many of these farmers, this was the first time they had seen spray drone technology in action on such an intimate and relatable scale. One could sense the cogs turning in their minds as they envisioned these drones flying over their fields, applying precise treatments that were once labor-intensive and time-consuming.

Their reactions were nothing short of awe-inspiring. “It’s like watching the future happen right in front of us,” one farmer remarked. Another added, “This could change everything about how I manage my farm.” These responses were not outliers; they were the norm throughout the two days of demonstrations. Farmers were not just impressed—they were envisioning a new chapter for their operations.

Yet, amidst the excitement, we were also committed to clarity. We recognize that spray drone technology, while promising, can also be surrounded by misconceptions. This was a golden opportunity to clarify our role in this burgeoning field.

“We’re not here to sell you a drone,” our COO, Aaron Duval, would emphasize in conversation after conversation. “We’re here to show you a service that can revolutionize your farming practice.”

AcuSpray is neither a drone manufacturer nor a retailer. We are a custom application service, grounded in expertise and fortified with certification and compliance to meet stringent legal and regulatory standards. Our team of trained pilots and specialists is dedicated to making farmers’ lives easier and their crops healthier and more bountiful.

The AgroExpo wasn’t just a stage for AcuSpray; it was a platform for education and dialogue. It was about tearing down the veil of uncertainty that often surrounds new technology and revealing the potential that lies within it—for farms, for families, for futures. It was, indeed, much more than a showcase. It was a glimpse into a promising and attainable future for agriculture in Michigan, and AcuSpray is thrilled to be leading the way.

Technology That Spoke Volumes

As our drone soared effortlessly above the cornfield during the AgroExpo, its actions spoke louder than any words could. With a sweeping 30-foot spray pass, the drone showcased its prowess, dancing in the sky yet performing a function so crucial to the heart of farming. In a symphony of speed and precision, it demonstrated how product can be applied at a rate of 3 gallons per acre, cruising smoothly at 23 feet per second. The efficiency was tangible, and for the farmers watching, it was a revelation.

Many who observed the demonstration were quick to envision how this technology could become a game-changer in their own operations. One farmer noted, “This can get to the fields at the exact time my crops need it, without waiting for dry ground or available labor.” Another remarked, “The accuracy of these drones means I can ensure every inch of my field gets the treatment it needs.”

Farmers’ eyes widened at the concept of full coverage—something the spray drone demonstration made seem effortless but has historically been a challenge with traditional ground-based methods. Many farmers were visibly excited about the prospect of eradicating the issue of crop damage that is often associated with ground rigs. A young farmer eagerly pointed out, “There are no tire tracks, no signs of disturbance—just healthy, treated crops.”

The conversations were rich and multi-dimensional. We discussed issues such as the perpetual challenge of timing—getting treatment to crops when they need it most and how our drones, unburdened by muddy fields or tight schedules, offer a solution to this age-old problem.

“It’s not just about the tech,” Aaron Duval, our COO, explained to a group of farmers, “It’s about solving real, everyday issues you face on your farm. It’s about giving you back control of your time, reducing waste, and, ultimately, elevating your yields without damaging a single stalk.”

The drones’ agility and deftness were visually impactful, but it was the discussions that followed—honest, informed, and insightful—that highlighted the substantial problems AcuSpray’s service is poised to solve for farmers. As the drone flew, it wasn’t just displaying technology; it was painting a picture of a more efficient, more sustainable, and more promising approach to agriculture.

The Timing and Flexibility Advantage

When it comes to farming, timing is everything, and our demonstration at the AgroExpo in St. Johns reiterated this unequivocally. We showcased how AcuSpray’s drones can act swiftly and precisely, with a flexibility that is virtually unmatched in the agricultural world. For the farmers who witnessed our drones in action, it was a stark reminder of just how much weather and soil conditions dictate their work.

Many farmers approached us after the demo, sharing their own stories — tales of having to wait impatiently for soil to dry after a storm, or of their inability to apply necessary treatments due to the constraints of tight schedules and manual labor shortages. They shared their frustrations with timing: it’s either too early, too late, or simply the wrong conditions for ground-based application machinery to access the fields.

“One season, we had a rainstorm that lasted days,” one farmer shared. “By the time the ground was dry enough for our tractors, the window to effectively treat our crops had passed. We lost a significant portion of our yield that year.”

This is where AcuSpray shines, and the farmers could see it. Our drones have the ability to be in the field when the plant is ready, regardless of the soil conditions. In our demonstration, we pointed out a recent scenario where significant rain had fallen in the past day. “Under those conditions,” Aaron Duval highlighted, “traditional ground rigs wouldn’t be able to operate until the soil dries. But our drones? They were back in the air immediately, providing timely and critical treatment.”

The flexibility of our service extends beyond just timing. We also fit into various field sizes and shapes — something that a number of farmers found attractive. “Our field is too small for an airplane, but it’s a critical part of our operation,” noted another farmer. “AcuSpray could be the solution we’ve been looking for.”

With AcuSpray, we’re offering farmers the chance to turn the table on time and mother nature. Instead of racing against the clock and battling the elements, our services allow farmers to work with a partner who can operate on their schedule, not just when the conditions are right for heavy machinery.

Disease Combat & Yield Boost

As our drones soared over the fields during the AgroExpo in St. Johns, one key point we highlighted was their potential to revolutionize the fight against crop diseases — a point that resonated deeply with the farmers in attendance. Our demonstration showed how AcuSpray’s precise application targets devastating diseases like tar spot in corn and white mold in soybeans, both of which are familiar foes to Michigan’s farmers.

“Last year, white mold cost me a significant percentage of my yield,” shared a soybean farmer after the demo. “Seeing this technology today gives me hope for a healthier crop.”

Our drones’ exact application, demonstrated during the event, impressed the farmers — as we flew, we explained how every ounce of fungicide is optimized for maximum plant health, with no wastage. With our ability to apply treatments with such precision, we are enabling farmers to achieve virtually complete coverage of their fields. Not just 70 or 85%, but closer to 100% coverage, which is a game-changer when it comes to effectively combating crop diseases.

Farmers were particularly interested in our drones’ unique advantage of application under the leaves and close to the stalk, thanks to the design of the T40’s nozzles and propeller air movements. “That level of application — it’s like giving the crops a custom-tailored suit of armor against diseases,” commented a corn farmer.

In addition to disease control, our services have the power to significantly boost yields. We know that healthy plants are productive plants, and our drones are designed to keep crops in peak condition throughout the growing season. By preventing and combating diseases early and effectively, we’re helping farmers to safeguard their yields and, in turn, their livelihoods.

“It’s not just about saving the plants,” one farmer reflected. “It’s about securing our future. With AcuSpray, it feels like we have a fighting chance.”

Franchising the Future

As we chatted with the many farmers who stopped by our showcase at the AgroExpo in St. Johns, one announcement generated a particularly vibrant buzz: Franchises are coming soon. This simple yet potent statement marks a thrilling new chapter for AcuSpray and the agriculture industry at large.

The prospect of AcuSpray expanding through franchising is more than just a business development; it’s the planting of seeds for a future where advanced, precise, and timely crop care is accessible to farmers far and wide. It envisions a network of AcuSpray services that could span counties, states, and possibly even beyond, each franchise offering the same impeccable standard of care we demonstrated at the AgroExpo.

We were thrilled to witness the excitement this announcement sparked among the attendees. “This is exactly what we need around here,” one farmer commented, clearly seeing the potential benefits an AcuSpray franchise could bring to his community.

While we are in the early stages and are diligently working through the necessary preparations (our Franchise Disclosure Document is in the works, and we are committed to crossing all ‘T’s and dotting all ‘I’s), the anticipation among the AgroExpo attendees was palpable. They seemed to recognize, as we do, that AcuSpray franchising represents not just a service, but a paradigm shift in agricultural care.

While we cannot get into specifics quite yet, we invite everyone to stay tuned. The future of farming is taking shape, and we are eager to embark on this journey to cultivate it together.

Connecting with the Community

The AgroExpo in St. Johns was more than a venue to showcase our state-of-the-art drone technology; it was a vibrant hub where we deeply connected with our community. Over the course of the event, we engaged in countless dozens of insightful conversations with farmers and industry professionals, each dialogue rich with genuine curiosity, shared knowledge, and forward-looking aspirations.

These conversations were, without a doubt, invaluable to us at AcuSpray. Listening to the farmers discuss their daily challenges and hearing their perspectives on our services was enlightening. It offered us a first-hand look at what matters most to those who are at the heart of our work.

One recurring theme was the mutual interest in bridging innovative technology with practical farming needs. Farmers were keen to share their on-the-ground experiences, expressing what they need in a partner who understands the ever-changing dynamics of farming. From battling unpredictable weather to managing persistent diseases in their crops, their stories painted a vivid picture of the modern farmer’s reality.

Moreover, these dialogues were not one-sided. We were not there to just talk; we were there to listen. We were there to understand how our services could be refined and tailored to meet the unique needs of each farm we might serve. And we were there to start building relationships based on trust, expertise, and shared goals.

“This isn’t just a technology,” one farmer remarked, “it’s a potential partnership.” And that sentiment captures the heart of what AcuSpray is about. We aren’t just offering a service; we are seeking to become trusted allies in the pursuit of healthier crops, higher yields, and more sustainable farming practices.

In this spirit, the AgroExpo was far more than a demonstration event for us—it was a meaningful, relationship-building experience that underscored the central role that community plays in everything we do at AcuSpray.

A New Horizon in Agriculture: The AcuSpray Journey Continues

As the dust settles on this remarkable AgroExpo, we at AcuSpray are left inspired and invigorated by the response we received. Our role is clear: We are not here to sell drones; we are here to provide a revolutionary custom application service that elevates modern farming to new heights. We’re here to serve as trusted partners for farmers, offering solutions tailored to each unique farm we serve.

We extend our heartfelt gratitude to the many farmers and industry professionals who welcomed us with open arms at the AgroExpo. Your stories, your challenges, and your enthusiasm for innovation fuel our mission. Together, we are at the forefront of a new era, heralding an agriculture landscape that is more efficient, sustainable, and promising than ever before.

But this is just the beginning, and we invite you to join us on this exciting journey. Whether you’re a farmer eyeing the vast potential of precision drone applications, or an entrepreneur keen to explore our forthcoming franchise opportunities—AcuSpray is committed to being your ally in this venture.

Are you ready to be part of the future of farming?

Let’s keep this vital conversation flowing. We invite you to follow us on Facebook and Instagram or reach out directly to us for more information.

We look forward to serving your fields and contributing to the next chapter of agriculture innovation.

Your Future is Our Focus!

1 Comment
  • Daniel Dembny
    Posted at 14:05h, 17 August Reply

    Great read! Put me in coach

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