US: Precision ag drone system creator earns commercial investment

Raptor Maps has grown its drone-based system designed for specialty crop precision agriculture applications into a business worthy of investment. The Commercial Drone Fund, a venture-backed capital fund launched by Airware, has invested an undisclosed amount in the Cambridge, Massachusetts-based company. Raptor maps has created a system and software package that can analyze data and provide potential actions to farmers. In Washington, a potato grower has already said he would use data collected from this year to better next year’s crop. “Raptor Maps gave me a breakdown of potato sizes on my 130-acre field. The size of analysis showed I could reduce an input and save money while maintaining yield,” said Steve Phipps of Piper Ranch in Moses Lake, Washington. In working with Phipps, the team quantified how pre-plant under-fertilization affected potato size to help him find the floor, or minimum fertilizer application rate for his field, according to the company. More