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Pyka and Dole Announce Successful Trial Phase of Autonomous Spray Aircraft

Pyka and Dole plc have announced their first trial phase with Pyka’s Pelican Spray aircraft has been successfully completed according to a release.

Both companies’ personnel started flight operations and spray efficacy testing in 2022 at Dole’s Isletas Farm at Dole Fresh Fruit’s operation in Honduras. Pyka’s autonomous electric aircraft was effective in crop protection.

“Dole is an internationally highly respected brand whose farming practices set industry standards for fruit and vegetable production across the globe,” said Volker Fabian, CCO of Pyka. “With their commercial operations spanning multiple geographical locations, Dole will demonstrate the value of Pyka’s product on an even larger scale than we have seen to date.”

For the next step, Pelican Spray use will extend to larger areas of Dole’s banana plantations to help supplement Dole’s current agricultural spray planes. The service will be at additional operations in Latin America as well. According to the release this opportunity will allow for optimization of spray operations, chemical use reduction with increased sprayer precision and minimized environmental impact, all of which contribute toward Dole’s sustainability goals.

“We are excited to partner with Pyka in order to be on the forefront of technological advancement for the aerial application industry,” said Patricio Gutierrez Carvajal, regional director Innovation, R&D at Dole Tropical Products. “This product addresses a market-wide need for a safer, cleaner, and more precise method of spraying crops by air. As a company, Pyka embodies the values of quality, innovation and environmental focus that align with Dole’s corporate mission.”