Unmanned aircraft the future in weed control

By Amy Phillips

Company officials from Yamaha are visiting western Queensland this week to check out their unmanned aircraft being used to spray weeds.

The Japanese company has loaned a four-metre long helicopter type UAV to a natural resource management group to control prickly acacia on properties.

Australian manager Liam Quigley says it’s the first time the machine has been used in an open environment.

“Typically in Japan these have only been used for spraying herbicide on rice,” he said.

“They don’t really have a weed problem, whereas we have a massive weed problem here.

“So in Australia that will be the focus of the market.

“We’re looking to introduce 10 units this year, 36 next year and another 36 each year after that, so it’s massive.”