Although many precision farming specialists are in the thick of spring planting and logging long hours, the growing season can create a service void for precision teams prior to preparing for fall harvest.
But even amidst the socioeconomic challenges confronting the ag industry, there are revenue opportunities dealers can pursue to bridge the seasonal gap for precision farming employees.
HTS Ag, an independent precision dealership based in Harlan, Iowa, has carved out successful niches selling and supporting grain bin monitoring technology and providing UAV solutions, outside of the ag industry.
During the last year, the dealership has entered the public safety market, providing drone services to law enforcement and fire departments for aerial support. There will likely be additional growth potential in public safety as an outcome of the coronavirus pandemic, according Arlin Sorensen, founder of HTS Ag.
“There's a lot of aspects of public safety where drones are kind of just getting started. And especially with this COVID-19 thing, I've been watching some of the technology developed with drones there, and I'm pretty sure we're going to see drones taking temperature readings of people as they enter into facilities with infrared or other technologies. We've seen some challenges with choppers going down in some metros and that's expensive, and it usually costs some lives. The drone are not nearly as effective, maybe as a chopper in some ways, but they are very effective in other ways. There's just a lot of places where a drone can do a lot of good in public safety. So we're going to see that. I think the drone marketplace is just getting going. It's going to be part of the delivery system. It's going to be part of transportation. It's going to be everywhere.”
Sorensen adds that while selling UAV hardware is part of the equation, the service side will be far more lucrative when working with both ag and non-ag customers.