Ripline spraying and seeding for large scale revegetation preparation
Discover how FMS transformed large-scale revegetation in Gippsland, using advanced drone technology to achieve precise herbicide application and seed distribution, revolutionising Greening Australia's environmental restoration efforts.
DJI Phantom 4 RTK
DJI Mavic 3M
DJI Agras T10
Licences and approvals
Agricultural Aircraft Operator Licence (AAOL)
Agricultural Chemical User Permit (ACUP)
For revegetation using seedlings to be effective, the planting sites first need to be treated with herbicide to prevent competition from existing vegetation. Ideally the minimum amount of chemical is used to avoid unnecessarily damaging existing ground cover. To ensure that water and seed penetrate deep into the soil, Greening Australia had a bulldozer rip 600km of lines in the ground at 5m spacings. As the terrain was so steep, spraying these lines with herbicide using traditional methods was impossible, and helicopters cannot spray such precise spray patterns.
Planting of seed is typically done by hand, with multiple planters required to walk the 600km of rip lines carrying and distributing seed into the disturbed ground.
FMS first mapped all of the riplines and created flight paths along every line for the spray drone to follow. We have developed various spray drone attachments that we use for pre-planting site preparation spraying of steep, rocky terrain. Using this tech in conjunction with highly accurate GPS positioning and terrain following functionality allowed us to precisely spray strips along every ripline This minimised chemical use and overspray, applying the herbicide only where it was needed and saving the existing grasses in between rip lines.
FMS also used a DJI T10 spreading systems to distribute native seed into the riplines, with those seeds now beginning to sprout.