Sugar Tech

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Application of Multi-rotor Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Application in Management of Stem Borer (Lepidoptera) in Sugarcane

  • Xiao-Qiu Zhang
  • Yong-Jian Liang
  • Zhen-Qiang Qin
  • De-Wei Li
  • Chun-Yan Wei
  • Jin-Ju Wei
  • Yang-Rui LiEmail author
  • Xiu-Peng SongEmail author
Short Communication


Stem borer (Lepidoptera) is a key pest and causes significant damage in commercial sugarcane production. Unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) is an unpiloted and automatic aircraft that is being used for precision agriculture. The impact of multi-rotor UAV (four-rotor electronic UAV, 3WWDZ-10A) application on controlling the stem borer in sugarcane variety GT46 was explored with aerial spray of 1.5% abamectin (liquid) and 2% lufenuron (microemulsion) at seedling stage of sugarcane crop. The knapsack electric sprayer (KES) without pesticide (NP) treatments were used as the controls. The droplet deposition, spray efficiency and rate of dead larvae for UAV and KES treatments were compared after spraying. The rate of dead larvae counts for UAV spray was found 40.0%, which was higher compared to KES (30.0%) and NP (0.0%) treatments. Besides, the spray efficiency of UAV treatment was recorded 14.37 times more than that of KES treatment, and the pesticide requirement was lowered as much as 90.65% as compared to KES. The droplet coverage and deposition were also recorded lower, accounting for 9.5% and 0.7% of KES, respectively. Our results suggest the high potential use of UAV spray of insecticides for the management of sugarcane borer in commercial crop production in China.


Sugarcane Unmanned aerial vehicle Borer Droplet deposition Control efficiency 



This study was funded by Guangxi Science and Technology Base and Talents Special Project (Guike AD17195100), Fund for Guangxi Innovation Teams of Modern Agriculture Technology (nycytxgxcxtd-03-01), Guangxi Natural Science Foundation (2015GXNSFBA139060).

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Society for Sugar Research & Promotion 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Sugarcane Research Institute, Guangxi Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Sugarcane Research Center, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Key Laboratory of Sugarcane Biotechnology and Genetic Improvement (Guangxi), Ministry of AgricultureGuangxi Key Laboratory of Sugarcane Genetic ImprovementNanningChina
  2. 2.XAIRCRAFT Technologies Co., Ltd.GuangzhouChina

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