Farmland has become the most imaginative third pole of UAV.
More than 30 years ago, Yamaha applied remote-controlled UAV to farmland, creating the first farmland operation mode of UAV in Japan and even the world. In the 1990s, Japan began to promote the application of plant protection UAV in rice fields. Now, UAV farmland operation has become the main force of plant protection in Japan.
In China, taking Bazhou region in Xinjiang, Jiamusi region in Heilongjiang and Jingzhou region in Hubei as examples, from 2017 to 2019, plant protection UAVs are also rapidly popularized. A UAV user from Heilongjiang Province, in 2019, the single machine operation area will reach 61044 mu.
As we know, UAVs can be divided into two types: consumer and industrial. The competition in the consumer market is fierce. Many enterprises have shifted from the consumer market to the industrial market, or taken root in the industrial market from the very beginning. For example, agriculture and forestry plant protection, logistics, security patrol, aerial surveying and mapping, oil production and development are all application scenarios of industrial UAV market.
From the very beginning, many start-ups regarded the agricultural and forestry plant protection as a market with great commercial potential, because compared with the over 50% penetration rate of plant protection machinery in the United States and Japan, the penetration rate of plant protection machinery in China is only in single digits.
However, from 2016 to now, hundreds of UAV enterprises that originally existed in the agricultural plant protection market, after going through the tide of bankruptcy, now there are only a few sporadic. Dajiang and Jifei are the so-called “final winners” in this field.
Some people in the industry even believe that “agricultural plant protection” has become the battlefield of the two companies.
Throughout the domestic market of UAVs for agriculture, forestry and plant protection, after the education period, shuffling period and development period, some subtle changes have taken place in this vertical track this year.
The market is sinking
Jifei technology released a set of interesting data at the 2019 annual conference, which simply divided the user groups of plant protection according to their ages. In 2019, the growth rate of the post-80s and post-90s users was the same as that of last year, and basically did not grow; The number of post-60s and Post-70s users increased; After 50 years, the number of users has increased in a straight line.
This phenomenon, on the one hand, explains the problem of rural market population structure, that is, rural population migration and aging. Many young people from rural areas come to big cities to seek opportunities, and the proportion of people over 55 years old in rural areas has increased. On the other hand, the UAV market has begun to sink. In the past, young people had a strong ability to accept new technologies, mechanization and intelligence. Now the users of the post-50s are also beginning to accept the concept of agricultural intelligence.
Peng bin, founder of Jifei, believes that the average age in rural areas is between 46 and 60, and the increasing age of UAV users indicates that the products are more and more in rural areas. Of course, UAV manufacturers are facing more and more challenges, such as ease of use, product price, after-sales service, and the ability to go deep into the front-line channels.
According to the classification of UAV flight defense costs in the past few years, Peng bin found that the first is the purchase cost, which is 2 yuan per mu of land; the second is the average cost of battery use per mu, as well as the cost of equipment maintenance. The overall cost is declining“ From now on, the fastest decline in costs is actually the cost of maintenance. The cost of battery use is the slowest decline in the industry, and it has hardly declined in the past few years. “
The reduction of the overall cost brings about changes in the whole user group. Some users often choose to buy by themselves after cost comparison. The user group has gradually shifted from the previous plant protection team to the large growers and agricultural machinery operators.
“Under the influence of more and more channel paving, the proportion of large growers and agricultural machinery users increased this year, accounting for nearly half of the total user group.” Peng bin further told Hu olfactory that the penetration rate of UAV application scenarios in China is very deep in paddy fields and cash crop cotton areas.
Xie Tiandi, the head of Dajiang innovation brand, also felt the change: “from the market insight, more and more post-60s and 70s will try our products. At the same time, with the implementation of the national plant protection machine subsidies, the actual purchase price of plant protection machine is also constantly decreasing. Therefore, we also find that more and more large growers will buy our products for their own use, while some farmers will join hands with the surrounding users to buy our products for their own use. “
In addition, there are also some new developments in UAV chemical spraying, batteries and industry standard formulation this year. From October 23 to 25, the fourth working group on standards of UAV spraying system (ISO / TC23 / SC6 / wg25), CO sponsored by Dajiang agriculture, discussed the ISO international standards for plant protection, especially the technical difficulties of pesticide application.
“Geek is one of the standard setters of plant protection UAV, and this standard has been released. Mainstream UAV companies in the market have participated in this standard, and we are also one of the key participants.
We are the scheme maker of spraying quality, including making spraying more accurate control and more intelligent flight. It may take some time for a group standard to adapt to a national standard. It may also take one or two years to become a group standard first and then a national standard in the future“ Peng Bin said to Hu olfactory.
The meaning of price war
In the 2019 annual conference of Jifei technology, a new product, Jifei XP 2020 agricultural UAV, was released. In terms of naming rules, Jifei XP 2020 did not continue the previous P series. According to Peng bin, Jifei XP 2020 has reached the limit that a single person can move, and can carry 20 kg.
“The fuselage structure of geek XP 2020 is further strengthened and more compact, so that it can continue to fly even if one arm falls down. It also provides three types of loads, ranging from 12L, 16L and 20L. It can use medicine boxes and particle boxes with different capacities according to different situations in different regions. “
In terms of spray width and efficiency, under the condition of 6 m / s and 800 ml / mu, the spray radius of fine spray area is 4.5 m and the efficiency is 145.7 mu / h; In the rapid spraying area, the spraying radius is 6 meters, and the efficiency is 194.3 mu / h.
More importantly, in terms of price, the overall price of Jifei XP 2020 agricultural UAV suite has been reduced by 20000 yuan. Peng bin told Hu olfactory that the price of Jifei last year was more than 70000, and this year is about 52000, which is due to the advantages of the supply chain and the cost reduction of research and development of new products.
“For example, the original mapping of the pole with battery sold 6700 yuan, today is more than 2000 yuan; In the past, we had to carry four batteries, but now two are enough to save the money of two batteries; In addition, buying a generator with charger can save another 10000 yuan. In essence, we have reduced the market price with reasonable profits. “
Peng bin stressed to Hu olfactory that the price of Jifei’s XP 2020 package is 2000 yuan cheaper than that of Youshang’s T16 package.
The term “friend businessman” here refers to Dajiang.
In 2015, the new mg-1 was launched in the field of agricultural plant protection, with a price of 52999 yuan; In 2016, mg-1s was released, which was 10000 yuan lower than the price of mg-1, and the price was 42150 yuan; In 2017, mg-1s advanced was launched at 29999 yuan; In 2018, the T16 with higher performance will be launched, and the price of single machine is 31888 yuan.
Peng bin believes that since Dajiang accounts for 60% or 70% of the consumption field, it can go from the 1 billion subsidies earned by aerial photography to agriculture. Even if it doesn’t make money today, price reduction is also a normal business practice.
But for the price war, Dajiang denied: “now there is no price war, it is the price recorded by the Ministry of agriculture. Moreover, we have a lot of upstream technologies. Large scale manufacturing and cost control are certainly much stronger in Xinjiang. “
In fact, while constantly harvesting and stimulating sensitive markets with “low” prices, Dajiang has further expanded its market share through contract plan, channels, dealers and subsidies from plant protection teams.
According to the data released by Jifei, as of September 20, the total operating area of Jifei UAV reached 310 million mu. According to the agricultural data of Xinjiang, as of September 6, the total operation area in China has exceeded 200 million mu.
Talking about the rapid growth of competitors in the field of agricultural UAVs, xietiandi of Xinjiang told Huwei: “the total operating area of Jifei UAVs is the data of the world in four years. We are a region of China, from the beginning of this year to the present.”
“In the past four years, the total area of Dajiang in the world should exceed 500 million mu, the domestic market share should be close to 70%, and Jifei should be close to 20%. People in the circle have made it very clear that these can not explain anything.”
From this point of view, Dajiang and Jifei have had a positive confrontation in price, market channel expansion and other aspects.
However, although they default that the short-term confrontation is inevitable, the two companies emphasize that there are great differences in the long-term route, and they will take different paths at a certain node.
“(Dajiang and Jifei) do not have the same idea. They even have different development ideas. You can understand them as two products. For example, we use robust control, Jifei uses PID control; PID refers to a control algorithm, that is, the proportional integral differential control algorithm, there is no comparability between the two.
In addition, Jifei hopes to transform the agricultural data company to avoid competition, and we will stick to the equipment and platform itself“ Xie Tiandi said to Hu olfactory.
Xie Tian, for example, is a platform for UAVs. The MG series is usually a platform in agriculture. The T16 introduced last year is the second generation platform. The first generation is the sprayer that can fly, and the original UAV platform and model are used. The second generation redefines the mathematical model of a platform around spraying operations.
Just as apple builds software ecology through hardware, Dajiang attracts UAV software providers to integrate its mobile applications and Software Development Kit SDK through its dominant market share.
But Dajiang is not the same as apple. Apple sells its own development achievements to Apple users through channels to make money. The developers of Dajiang have their own customers, and their customers have additional needs when using Dajiang UAV. Then they develop technical support solutions for customers, and complete the specified tasks on demand.
Even, many developers in Dajiang are the application departments of UAVs in large companies. For example, engineers of China Southern Power Grid use Dajiang SDK to transform a set of software for their own tasks, and then share their experience in China Southern Power Grid.
At the 2019 annual conference, geek announced a strategic plan to integrate the UAV business into the four steps of “smart agriculture construction”.
The first step is to build the infrastructure of smart agriculture; The second step is research and development, intelligent agricultural equipment UAV, robot, spraying series; The third step is to connect the Agricultural Internet of things of land, crops, producers and consumers; Fourth, based on the data generated by a large number of devices and connections, AI can be used in agriculture and become a data service provider.
Jifei also disclosed some cooperation with Alibaba and Huawei cloud. Alibaba provides reliable and stable cloud services, and Huawei cloud supports more software and hardware connections. When it comes to the use of data, Peng Bin said that after a large amount of data is sent back to the background, it will make the UAV fly better. For example, it can judge the user’s habit of using the battery, so as to guide the battery design.
“Covering all kinds of details in the whole R & D and production process is not only to help customers themselves, but also to generate some good benefits from cloud computing for the final product.”
For the attitude of agricultural data commercialization, Dajiang and Jifei are quite different.
Xie Tiandi firmly said to Hu olfactory, “data is not the business of Xinjiang, this is the principle.” Jifei emphasizes that the data collected by the company is within the scope of normal use. They hope to use the data to help the enterprise optimize the scene, change the operation mode of users, and finally help users improve their income and reduce the operation cost“
“There are many dimensions of data, such as flight altitude, speed, sensor status and so on. However, we strictly abide by the most basic morality of the enterprise, do not do evil, do not mess“ Peng Bin said.
It is worth noting that Peng bin, founder of Jifei, said in an interview with the daily economic news in early October this year that the data service is still in the early docking state. Jifei’s exploration in data includes providing data to external enterprises such as financial institutions, agricultural means and pesticide institutions, conducting business cooperation, and helping these institutions understand farmers’ needs.
For example, Jifei hopes to send the data back to the cloud for processing and analysis, and use the data to improve pesticides, fertilizers and other products for partners.
In fact, after comparing the two UAV companies, we find that there are differences in hardware technology and business model. In particular, it is impossible for any UAV company not to touch data, but how to commercialize data may be the biggest fork in the development direction of the two companies in the future.
It remains to be seen how the two companies will go out of differentiation in the field of agricultural plant protection UAV.
Editor in charge: GT