Neil, Philippa and Mark Gardyne have taken to the skies to increase efficiency and productivity on their Southland farm.

“We are using our Aeronavics drone for general farm use and to monitor stock. Our ‘eyes in the sky’ enable us to check for cast stock, monitor sheep at lambing time and muster stock Using the drone saves 20% of the commute time around the farm, with further room to improve.”

The family’s Southland farm is vast in size, with tumultuous terrain that is difficult to navigate by quad bike. Previously, a 5km mission would have taken 40 minutes to drive. Now the same area can be covered in five minutes.

Since investing in the Aeronavics’ drone, Neil says they’ve halved the number of cast sheep deaths.

“Fifty per cent of cast sheep flown over by the drone right themselves if we get to them early enough. On average we save 40 ewes, which equates to $12,000 saved per year”.

The Gardyne’s also use their drone for weed control and looking at water infrastructure.

“We can find a leaky trough with the drone and then decide if we need to go out on the farm bike and fix it. Instead of taking two trips, we’re just taking one.

A farmer with a drone on his bike