Precision Ag Manufacturer Profile: Rantizo, applications via drone
Updated: Sep 4, 2020
Rantizo was founded in 2018 by Michael Ott who previously started a company that delivered small amounts of nitrogen precisely on rice seeds. The idea for Rantizo came from that concept; precisely delivering inputs in the field when it was needed.
The Problem They are Looking to Solve
Rantizo drones are able to aerially apply anything that’s labeled for aerial application. They can Fly & Apply® a multitude of different things, including liquid applications and dry applications. Fungicide applications have been a very common request for services, but they can also apply things such as cover crop seeds, micronutrients, beneficial insects, and pollen.
Rantizo has developed hardware and software components that work together to provide in-field solutions for farmers and operational solutions for ag retailers.
Hardware consists of a DJI Agras MG-1P drone along with Rantizo upgrades that include enhancements to pumps and a 14’ boom attachment. The drone does not have a camera specifically set up for imagery, instead they integrate with imagery companies. As long as the imagery company is open source, they can work with them. By integrating with imagery companies they can take a shapefile of a farmer’s field, import it, and use that for mission mapping, in an efficient and precise manner.
To allow for multiple drone swarming (which Rantizo was recently approved for by the FAA) Rantizo builds and sells Load & Go trailers equipped with a generator, work station, multiple drone storage, water tank, and even an observation deck up top for increased line of sight.
They will soon offer an autonomous tendering system, allowing batch mixing of chemicals.
Rantizo Fly & Apply app is being designed for ag retailers. From the app, retailers will be able to assign jobs to Rantizo certified pilots, provide job locations, workflow and equipment checklists, mission maps and necessary billing details.
Rantizo can offer precise drone-based applications exactly where they are needed, when they are needed. Carlson says Rantizo automated solutions ultimately address labor shortages, while their technology has been created to provide more precise in-field application, reducing input costs and increasing profitable opportunities for farmers. Flying & Applying via drone also means opening up a wider timeline for applications as weather, field conditions, soil compaction, and crop damage are no longer hindrances with Rantizo.
Currently, a swarm of Rantizo drones can apply 40 acres/hour. Each individual drone will cover around 14 acres per hour at a 3 gallon per acre rate. With the release of the Mix & Fill station, down time for refilling or replacing batteries is greatly reduced, bumping productivity up to around 23 acres per hour per drone. The near term goal is to get to 60 acres per hour, then 100 acres per hour and be completely autonomous. At that point application by drone will be more efficient and cost effective than any traditional spraying methods currently offered to farmers.
Who it’s Designed For:
Rantizo’s target customers are ag retailers. The past two years they have been working with more one-off opportunities, farmers or people who are working with agtech or precision ag, early adopters of ag technology or those wanting to get into the custom commercial spraying business. However, the technology and the developments that they are working on are moving towards a turnkey solution ag retailers could purchase and then implement in their existing business.
The main challenges for widespread adoption of Rantizo have been tied to regulations in regards to drone usage on a national and state-to-state level, as well as access to rural broadband.
Ultimate Goal of the Company:
Rantizo wants to deliver completely unmanned spraying to farmers. This will provide farmers with a better, more costly, more timely solution for in field applications, while equipping ag retailers with the means to do so.
Ultimately, they could see their technology, data, or business platform being a desirable acquisition for a large national ag retailer or chemical company.
Rantizo is licensed nationwide by the FAA for drone spraying. The company’s network of licensed Rantizo application services contractors currently spans fifteen states throughout the country from coast to coast. In order to be eligible as a Rantizo contractor, individuals must have a Part 107 for commercial drone operation, must fulfill all state requirements for commercial aerial application and be certified by the Rantizo's chief pilot. Rantizo is the only company licensed to swarm nationwide in agricultural areas without buffers.
Emily Carlson, Marketing Lead, Rantizo