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Latest News


XAG Drone Fleets Take Off for Large-scale Cotton Defoliation Operation in Xinjiang

October 11, XINJIANG – As a global leading agriculture technology company, XAG has initiated its Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) spraying operation – “Take Off for Harvest Time” for the third consecutive years in China’s Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region. Since late August, over 1500 drone pilots and 1000 crop protection teams with approximately 3000 sets of XAG P Series Plant Protection UAS have convened in Xinjiang to help local cotton growers spray defoliant and boost crop yields.  This is the world’s largest cotton defoliation operation that involves the use of fully autonomous drones to ensure a cost-effective, eco-friendly machine harvest. Up to mid-September, one million hectares of cotton fields have been defoliated with XAG’s crop spraying drones. It is estimated that the accumulated service record of this year’s operation will exceed 1.3 million hectares, a 200% increase compared to 2018 when XAG served approximately 0.45 million hectares. Defoliation is the harvest-aid operation which applies chemical to accelerate cotton boll opening and encourage cotton leaves to drop from plants within a specific short period time. It is a necessary process to ensure timely, intensive mechanical harvesting and reduce impurities in cotton fibre.  Traditionally, cotton was mostly handpicked, but this has no longer been a viable solution due to the rising labour cost and the shortage of agricultural labour. Cotton harvesting machines have been widely adopted to improve cost-efficiency while eliminating a great deal of tedious physical labour. In China, for example, Xinjiang constitutes 85% of the nation’s total cotton production forecast at 6.16 million metrics tons this year. According to Xinjiang Agricultural Machinery Bureau, the mechanisation of cotton harvesting has steadily risen from 21% in 2016 to 30% in 2018. However, cotton defoliation prior to the machine harvest used to heavily rely on manual or tractor spraying, both of which have deficiency that either increases the costs of production or results in certain level of yield loss. When people walk into the densely planted cotton fields for spraying, they might accidentally knock the cotton bolls onto the ground, easily get skin injury by thorns or expose themselves to chemical substances. People are reluctant to undertake such overwhelmingly labour-intensive work. Spraying defoliant through large ground-based machinery is highly efficient especially when it comes to scale farming. Yet, it would cause crop damage and soil compaction when the tractor crosses over the cotton fields. For instance, in China’s Xinjiang, the economic loss resulted from tractor spraying could range from 16000 to 19200 RMB on a 65-hectare cotton field. In addition, the failure to achieve precision spraying on the appropriate timing might further enlarge the yield gap.  XAG had identified such problem back in 2013 and self-developed a fully autonomous agriculture drone specifically designed for efficient, precise crop spraying operation. One XAG P Series Plant Protection UAS can reach the spraying efficiency of 10 hectares per hour, which usually takes 60 workers to complete. Real-time Kinematic (RTK) navigation and Intelligent Rotary Atomisation Spraying system are two core technologies that enable XAG’s drone to precisely deliver pesticides and fertilisers. As a centimetre-level positioning technique, RTK is used to correct meter-level errors and enhance the accuracy of position data in the Global Positioning System (GPS). Equipped with RTK, drones can conduct operation on the pre-set flight paths to prevent overlaps or misses while automatically avoid any surrounding obstacles within the croplands to ensure flight safety. The atomisation spraying system is engineered to atomise liquids into micro-level droplets. The drone propellers can generate powerful downdraft to reduce drifting and ensure that the atomised defoliant evenly adhere to the plant surface. This has proved to conserve 90% agricultural water and save 30% defoliant, compared to the traditional approaches.  XAG is the first drone maker to introduce UAS precision spraying technology into the rural area of Xinjiang. To cope with local farmers’ increasing demands for UAS cotton defoliation, XAG deployed over 1000 plant protection drones from all across China and initiated the operation ‘Take Off for Harvest Time’ for the first time in 2017. With the widespread adoption of agriculture drones, the cotton industry has been taking a giant leap forward in sustainability and intelligence. Since tapping into the smart agriculture sector in 2013, XAG has transformed crop protection approach on a wide variety of crops, ranging from cotton, rice, wheat, corn to fruit trees, with its precision agriculture devices operated under high-accuracy navigation network. Artificial intelligence and Internet-of-Things are also developed to help farmers manage their fields more scientifically as well as creating a transparent, traceable food value chain. Up to mid-September, XAG has offered UAS crop spraying services on 20 million hectares of farmlands, which helped conserve 4.29 million tons of agricultural water while reducing 18600 tons of pesticides and fertilisers.  
2019-10-11 05:47

XAG Annual Conference XAAC 2019 Announced For 28 October, Empowering Next-Gen Farmers

October 10, 2019 – XAG announces to host its much-anticipated Annual Conference XAAC 2019 on October 28, a global agriculture technology event which epitomises the rapid advancement of the industry. This year’s conference will convene agricultural experts, strategic partners, agribusinesses and renowned media from across the globe to explore the key trends of digital farming and discuss the latest applications of smart agriculture technology. Themed ‘Empowering Next-Gen Farmers’, XAAC 2019 will introduce some of the most cutting-edge technologies, such as drones, artificial intelligence (AI), cloud computing and internet-of-things (IoT), to unleash smallholders’ huge agricultural productivity. Facing a growing global population estimated to reach 9 billion by 2025, XAG has been dedicated to helping farmers not only generate higher crop yield but also produce a diverse variety of nutritious foods to meet consumers’ increasing demands for healthy diet. As an agri-tech gala running strong for the fourth consecutive years, the conference will feature several important sessions including New Product Release, Product Exhibition, Smart Agriculture Tech Forum and Global Guest Speaker Presentation. Taking a step forward in the wave of precision agriculture, XAG will launch a series of new products and align with its business partners to unveil new types of smart agriculture service solutions. With these ever-evolving modern technologies, farmers would become more productive while enhancing their capability to manage natural resources such as soil and water more sustainably and effectively. Distinguished service providers and agribusinesses from Korea, Japan, Australia, Latin America and Africa will be invited to share their interesting, insightful growth stories. Having introduced XAG’s unmanned aerial system (UAS) precision spraying technology to transform the local agricultural landscape, they gain enriched experience on how to develop bespoke business plans and customised crop protection solutions. Besides, agricultural experts, agronomists, entrepreneurs and industry leaders will be brought together in the tech forum to voice their opinions and exchange ideas on scaling up agri-tech for a sustainable agricultural ecosystem. To get first-hand information on new technology that are expected to lead the agricultural revolution, please follow XAG's official Facebook Page and Twitter where live updates will be available for audiences who are interested in the event.   
2019-10-09 23:43

XAG Joins Bayer to Demonstrate Drone-based Horticulture Crop Solution

September 30, HANGZHOU - Bayer and XAG has recently collaborated in Hangzhou, China to host a crop dusting drone demonstration on citrus trees. Justin Gong, Co-founder and Vice President of XAG, together with Bayer’s crop scientists and agricultural experts from China, Germany, India, and U.S., attended the joint convention, in which XAG showcased its Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) fruit tree solution based on Artificial Intelligence (AI) and 3D flight mode.                                           XAG’s fruit tree solution is the world’s first all-terrain autonomous drone spraying technology that resolves the global challenge of applying pesticides and fertilisers on complex terrains, such as mountains, hills and terraces. The partnership between XAG and Bayer, combining pioneer crop science research with advanced agriculture technology, aims to develop an innovative horticulture crop solution that would improve food safety and encourage healthy diet with high-quality fruits and vegetables. To examine the efficacy of UAS fruit tree solution, XAG and Bayer selected a typical citrus orchard in Hangzhou’s Jiande Town to conduct spraying on mandarin trees. The orchard covers a small area of 1.5 hectares but is located in rugged hills, where the mandarin trees are planted in uneven density and have grown to different heights. It used to take three days for three workers aged over 60s to manually spray the entire orchard for one time.XAG P Series Plant Protection UAS sprayed on mandarin treesBy contrast, the field experiment showed that one XAG P Series Plant Protection UAS could effectively spray half of the orchard area in only 10 minutes. While Bayer’s experts had provided plant disease diagnosis and prescription, XAG utilised its newly released 3D flight modes – band, hover and spiral to conduct precision spraying operation on different types of terrains. Each of the fruit trees only received its demanded dosage, without excessive waste of water and pesticides. This was achieved through a coherent process from aerial surveying, 3D modelling, AI recognition to targeted spraying. Prior to the spraying operation, XMission Multifunctional UAS can autonomously fly over the orchards for centimetre-level mapping and 3D terrain modelling. This is then followed by cloud computing and AI analysis, which are implemented by XAG Agriculture intelligence (XAI) to recognise field edges and each fruit tree’s location and size on the 3D high-definition maps. Nearly 7 hectares of fruit trees can be accurately identified within one second, with recall ratio and precision ratio reaching as high as 98.60% and 98.04% respectively. Users can therefore easily capture a full image of the farmlands from different angles to ensure safer, more precise spraying during the whole flight.3D mapping by XMissionFruit tree disease management is indeed a worldwide agricultural problem. Due to rural labour shortage and rising labour cost, farmers in both developed and developing countries have found it increasingly difficult to improve their cost-efficiency. Spraying chemicals manually on trees grown in different sizes and shapes not only fails to achieve precision application, impeding the production of high-quality fruits, but also places the operators in high poisoning hazards. China, with a long history of fruit cultivation, is one of the countries that are taking the lead in utilising agriculture drones to tackle the thorny problem of fruit tree spraying. Most of its orchards are developed and managed on hilly or mountainous areas. This means that large ground-based machines are inflexible to reach these regions, whereas small robots such as drones can take the chance. Compared to scale-farming, China’s smallholder economy has begun to unleash its huge agricultural productivity, when it comes to serving consumers’ increasing demands for more diverse nutritious food such as high-value fruits and vegetables.Riding over the wave of agricultural revolution, XAG has been introducing drones and AI into more remote rural areas to boost productivity and improve livelihood. The UAS fruit tree solution can help farmers grow high-quality horticultural crops and other cash crops in limited lands with less water and chemicals. In the future, XAG will continue to closely collaborate with its global partners to accelerate the process of digital farming with its smart agriculture solutions and solve local problem in a global scale. XAG is a global leading agriculture technology company and industrial UAS manufacturer, which developed its own patented agriculture drones, sensors and other digital farming tools for precision spraying, granule spreading, mapping and real-time crop monitoring. With its cost-effective, eco-friendly UAS crop protection solution, the company, up to mid-September, has defended 20 million hectares of global farmlands against harmful weeds and pest diseases.
2019-10-04 15:10