Drones with intelligent spreading systems were used to distribute seeds into fire-ravaged, difficult-to-access areas.
XAG has joined the first-ever post-fire drone seeding operation in Australia. This project was funded by the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) and managed by Heytesbury District Landcare Network (HDLN).
This April, XAG sent 3 sets of its P Series drones, equipped with JetSeed granule spreading system, to distribute native seeds directly on Lake Cobrico, Victoria. Within two days approximately 40 hectares of burned land was replenished with new plants, using a blend of 12 different seeds.
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In the next six months, XAG and HDLN will closely monitor the results of drone seeding, which will be compared with that of the other area where plants are going to be natural regrown. It is expected that the project will be replicated across the region and state, especially within the areas where traditional techniques are inapplicable.
During the operation, the drones followed a pre-set flight route, while harnessing high-speed airflows to project seeds from 2-3 metres above the ground. Also, seeding rates could be precisely controlled and adjusted in real time to ensure that the proper amount of seed was distributed evenly into the targeted bare land.
Lake Cobrico is a swamp wildlife reserve located near Warrnambool in Southwest Victoria. Part of the peatland was severely damaged during the 2018 St Patrick’s Day Fire, with the vegetation and deeper soil layers left in ruins.