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Well my pro bono work paid off.  I have been flying a field nearby my house and built up a relationship with the farmer.  This past week I sent him a weed detection report I wrote for his field.  He and his brother found it interesting enough to stop by and talk about what all I can provide.  They want me to fly two of their smaller fields initially (only a total of 155 acres) bi-weekly from June 1st to end of August.

This comes out to about 8 flights for each field.  All was going well until we started talking price.  One of the brothers wanted $10/acre for the entire flight.  After a quick calculation in my head as I hadn't thought of price for the entire year, but only per acre per flight.  I realized that this was way lower than what I was going to propose.  I let them know that it couldn't be done for that cost (1.25/acre).  The other brother was more comfortable with $15/acre or $1.88/acre.  I said I would try and get close to that number since this is new and hopefully we can do more fields together as they find benefit.  I know I shouldn't sell myself short, but don't want to lose my first customers for a few hundred dollars one way or another, but I am going to write the bid so its an even 2.00/acre.  

Sound reasonable?  I know pricing is going to be different for everyone, but commodities aren't all that great, but I still have to think about my overhead.  I feel if I try to make it all up on these two fields I would lose customers, but don't want to set that bar any lower.  



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11 minutes ago, Uaviator53 said:

What sensors are you using? FLIR, NVDI, How much data is included in your reports?

I am confused. "$15/acre or $1.88/acre" Not sure what this means or maybe I 'm just dense this morning.

NVDI, RGB, Potential Population Yield, Weed and Plant Count.  

FLIR and 3D are extra

"$15/acre or $1.88/acre" sorry I will detail it out a bit.  They kept saying 10 or 15/acre, but that's for the entire season.  So that means one field at 65 acres, 8 flights for the season, at a total cost of $15/acre (65x8x15 = $975).  To make more sense in my head I break that down to dollar/acre/flight  which is the $1.88/acre (975/65/8 = 1.88).

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"NVDI, RGB, Potential Population Yield, Weed and Plant Count.  "

That is a lot of bang for the buck. $2/acre is very reasonable. I haven't done any ag jobs yet but your price seems to be more than reasonable to get that first customer in. They came to you so that is an indication of their interest.

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If you get these guys on board, you can use it as leverage for other farmers. Even if you operated at a loss, you could chalk it up to "marketing costs" as a startup and use it as fuel for future jobs. If you can convince the farmers entrenched in the industry for a long time, that would pull a lot of weight with others.

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  • 3 months later...
On 8/12/2017 at 7:18 AM, IMann said:

How's the season panned out Juggernaught?

Okay for the first time trying.  I still have only one client, but one or two are interested for early next season.  Nothing truly dramatic happened in the fields that I am flying for the farmer other than what he knows will happen because of some high salinity in parts of the field.  You can definitely see it in the imagery, but the only way to fix it he said would be to dig down about 20 ft and replace all of the soil...which isn't cost effective.

I was asked about some mapping of a canyon and the accuracy so I explained to them GCPs and that I am not a surveyor (although i would have a surveyor lay the GCPs as I don't have the equipment).  No response on that quote...

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