Rantizo has received approval by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to conduct spraying applications via drone in agricultural fields. This makes the agtech startup which is based in Iowa City, Iowa, the first and so far only company in the state with such approval.
“Our drone technology had been ready for a few months; we just needed the regulatory landscape to get sorted out,” Rantizo CEO, Michael Ott said in a news release. “Building the technology is the easy part,” he continued.
According to the company, the first approved applications were of a corn fungicide and spreading cover crop seeds.
“Our drone technology offers new improvements to agricultural crop applications such as increased field access, reduced headcount and ability to spot apply,” Ott said. “In other words, we can get in the fields to treat pests faster, with less people and in more effective ways that require less chemicals.”
The company said it has crossed uncharted territory to reach the milestone of its first approved applications via drone. In May, Rantizo received its Part 107 and Part 137 certifications from the FAA, which included section 44807 waivers to operate a drone for agricultural application of materials. A last step was receiving licensure for pesticide application from the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship.
“As the first company in the state to request this for drone operation there was inherently a learning curve involved, but we are thankful to IDALS for working with us on this and ultimately allowing us to pave a new path necessary for improved agricultural practices. Next we will work with other states to achieve the same,” Craig Perry, Rantizo’s Director of Operations said in a news release.
The company sold its first drone application system in April of 2019. And it’s asking for inquiries to be sent to [email protected]