The DJI Agras T20P has been one of the leading agricultural drones — but only in Asia. For the first time ever, the DJI Agras T20P is now available outside Asia, including many countries within North America and other countries within the Americas.
The announcement coincides with Brazil’s Agrishow which occured last week and is one of the largest agricultural technology trade shows in the world.
“The introduction of DJI Agras T20P to the Americas is expected to benefit farmers by enhancing the standard and productivity of their crops, cutting down expenses, and boosting revenue,” said Celio Zhang, Regional Representative of the Americas at DJI Agriculture, in a prepared statement.” Additionally, it will encourage the advancement of contemporary agriculture practices and provide the very latest technology to help farming businesses thrive.”
Pricing and availability in North America will begin later this month through DJI’s dealers. Here’s what you need to know about the DJI Agras T20P, and how it compares to other agricultural drones:
What is the DJI Agras T20P?
The DJI Agras T20P drone is designed to support multiple types of agricultural operations — from surveying and mapping, to spraying and spreading. Consider it a versatile and value-minded agricultural drone.
The Agras T20P is designed to be a light and nimble drone featuring a four-rotor and new tilted truss design that reduces its size by 77% for easy handling by one person. It comes equipped with features including:
- A Dual Atomized Spraying System
- DJI Terra
- Active Phased Array Radar and Binocular Vision
Using the Agras T20P for spraying
Most folks will use the Agras T20P as a spraying drone, as it can spread one ton of fertilizer per hour. Its improved T20P Spreading System can support a greater payload weight and capacity (up to 25kg and 35L) than its predecessors.
It touts what’s called “dual atomization,” which is just a fancy word for saying it has a special spray disc that ensures even droplets and more efficient pesticide usage. The proprietary centrifugal valve prevents leakage, avoids over-fertilization, pollution, and reduces pesticide use while protecting the environment.
The drone’s new magnetic transmission design completely isolates the pesticide from the motor, making the agriculture drone corrosion-proof and ultra-durable. A weighing sensor can monitors the spread quantity and remaining payload, and DJI claims the spreading device can be easily dismantled in 3 minutes and be cleaned.
Using the Agras T20P for mapping
But spraying isn’t all the Agras T20P can do. The drone combines spraying and spreading functions with the ability to map as well through its UHD camera and adjustable gimbal. The drone is able to generate local maps even without full internet connection.
Obstacle avoidance on the Agras T20P drone
Much like DJI’s other commercial-grade drones, the Agras T20P has obstacle sensing capabilities. It uses active phased array radar and binocular vision to provide 360-degree omnidirectional obstacle sensing. The detection distance of up to 50 m allows for both intelligent terrain following as well as the ability to smoothly scale and bypass objects in its path — without hitting them.
That’s not only a safety feature but an efficiency feature; because the obstacle avoidance system can detect land boundaries and obstacles automatically, pilots can better plan flight routes over potentially obstacles like hilly orchards.
How much does the Agras T20P cost, and where can I get it?
You won’t just be able to walk into your local Best Buy and buy one of these.
The DJI Agras T20P is sold through authorized, local DJI resellers. And you’ll want to shop around, as DJI isn’t totally transparent about pricing on these. You’ll have to contact each individual reseller for details on pricing and availability, and they’ll also likely be able to help you navigate local regulations to determine what certifications and approvals are required to operate this product in their country or region.
But generally speaking, the DJI Agras T20P is set to become available for purchase in select countries and regions as of today, May 10.
What to know about the broader DJI Agras family
The DJI Agras T20P comes from the broader portfolio of DJI Agras products, which are a series of agricultural-minded aerial products. Together, the DJI Agras products create an ecosystem of aerial tech that can help optimize spraying of pesticides or fertilizer, gather and analyze aerial data, and better managing operations.
The Agras brand first came onto the scene in 2015, and now includes other T-series agricultural drones, plus MG-series agricultural drones, the Mavic 3 Multispectral drone, as well as software products including DJI Terra and DJI SmartFarm App.
The DJI SmartFarm Web is a pretty key piece of farmland information management software that can instantly generate high-definition images of farmland and orchards, as well as analyze crop growth with total clarity (it’s designed to go with the Mavic 3 Multispectral). In response to commentary that it’s easy to get aerial data but tough to actually manage it, the DJI SmartFarm App allows for more-convenient management of digitalized agricultural information — and therefore providing guidance for making automatic agricultural machinery operations more effective.
DJI Agras T20P vs. Agras T40 drone
The Agras T20P was first released in November 2021 alongside the Agras T40, which has long been available internationally. That’s a serious spraying drone, with a spreading capacity of 50 kg and a spraying capacity of 40 kg, which means it could — in theory — spread 1.5 tons of urea or spray pesticides on a 320-acre field in an hour.
That drone starts at $20,000 for the drone only, and is also commonly sold with a ready-to-fly kit for more than $26,000.
In general, it’s a far larger and more powerful drone than the Agras T20. Here’s a comparison of the two:
|Agras T20||Agras T40|
|Total weight (without battery)||21.1 kg||38 kg|
|Max takeoff weight (at sea level)||42.6 kg||90 kg (for spraying)
101 kg (for spreading)
|Airframe max diagonal wheelbase||1883 mm||2184 mm|
|Max wind resistance||8 m/s||6 m/s|
|Spaying system operating payload (full)||20 kg||40 kg|
|Max flow rate||3.6 L/min (with SX11001VS nozzle)
4.8 L/min (with SX110015VS nozzle)
6 L/min (with SX11002VS nozzle)
|Radar model number||RD2428R||RD2484R|
|Hovering time without payload||15 minutes||18 minutes|
|Hovering time with payload||10 minutes||7 minutes|
And yes, it’s seriously large. I saw it in-person, and — while I am small — the photos offer up some sense of scale:
What about the DJI Agras T20P vs Agras T20
The T20P, which is set to become available in the Americas, is an improvement upon the initial Agras T20 that was released in November 2020.
Here are six key reasons why the Agras T20P is an improvement over the T20:
- Dual Atomization for even spraying: T20P is equipped with dual atomized nozzle, which can spray more evenly and achieve higher pesticide utilization rate compared to the pressure nozzle of T20.
- Greater spreading load: The T20P has larger spreading load (25 kg) compared to T20 (20kg). It’s easier to switch between spreading and spraying systems on T20P because of the all-in-one design of the spreading system of T20P.
- Improved obstacle sensing T20P is equipped with the Active Phased Array Radar and Binocular Vision, while T20 is equipped with a digital radar system. The Active Phased Array Radar and Binocular Vision can significantly improve the obstacle sensing capability with the 360-degree omnidirectional obstacle sensing to ensure optimal security during operations.
- Mapping, Spraying and Spreading (all in one): T20P is equipped with a UHD FPV camera and adjustable gimbal, which can collect high-resolution image of fields when surveying. Users can not conduct surveying operations with T20 only; it needs to be paired with a laptop and a surveying drone such as Phantom 4 RTK.
- Smart controller: T20P is paired with a smart remote controller which can generate images offline while the remote controller of T20 doesn’t have this feature.
- Improved charge cycle: The battery of T20P has a charge cycle of 1500 times while T20 only has a charge cycle of 600 times.
What about the DJI Agras T30 drone?
Other drones in the Agras family include the DJI Agras T30 drone, which is also used for spraying.
In one neat use case, scientists in the Maldives used drones to spray pesticides in hopes of controlling an infestation of the hairy caterpillar (Euproctis fraterna), which has been threatening the local life and ecosystem of the gorgeous nation of islands in the Indian Ocean. On-ground pole spraying has proven inefficient and ineffective, but scientists there are using the Agras T30.
Ideally, the drone would be able to incorporate multispectral data and AI to make every spraying mission as targeted as possible, which is ideal for using only the amount of pesticides necessary by skipping trees that aren’t impacted by infestations.
DJI shared a pretty neat video showing that research here:
Whether stemming from better tech availability or greater need (and greater understanding of ongoing need), agricultural done usage is on the rise, especially since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Drone software company DroneDeploy said they saw a 33% increase in drone takeoffs among U.S. agricultural clients from mid-March to mid-April 2020, the first month of widespread lockdowns in the U.S.