Andreas Hurtado is one of the cofounders of TerraNova UAV. Through the combination of drone technology, analytical skill, and a desire to provide actionable information to its clients, TerraNova UAV continues to solidify its position in the marketplace. Tinkess Photo

By Terry Tinkess
AgriNews Staff Writer

CHESTERVILLE – TerraNova UAV uses drone technology to provide farmers with insights they can act upon through precision agriculture and in doing so reduce input costs, increase yield, and reduce emissions.

Founded in 2017 by Andreas Hurtado and Alexandra Acosta, the company combines superior customer service along with a long list of services they are able offer: services such as plant health monitoring, biomass analysis, plant counting, seed emergence analysis, weed, pest and disease detection, and precision. Understanding that one size does not fit all, they customize the service they provide to fit the needs of the individual using drones as the primary tool for information gathering.

Steve Redden is an agronomy consultant who works with TerraNova UAV and was their featured guest speaker at the 8th annual Great Ontario Yield Tour. Redden has been operating a drone since 2012 when he purchased a fixed wing model that used an off the shelf Canon camera for $12,000.

“I knew there was going to be a future,” said Redden. “I grew up on a farm and I used to love climbing the silo. My dad and my uncle, we had [a] staged silo and we used to love standing up there.”

I would always be fascinated by the perspective from up the silo. That’s where my early interest was going. I always wished I could see, and the farmer could see from the top down. So, I was really early into drone, I believed this is real.”

In 2018-2019 Redden met and built a relationship with the founders of TerraNova and found that his experience with drones, combined with their ability with technology was a good combination. He was an experienced drone pilot but was having difficulty finding a way to stitch multiple images together. TerraNova managed to do so. “The role I’m gonna play for them is, I’ve done a lot of work with farmers,” said Redden. “I understand there’s no use of me flying your field if I can’t figure it out. So, we’re working together, trying to figure things out because your needs are going to be different than the needs of the person next to you. Listen to what this guy has done, but it’ll blow your mind. And it’s real.”

The question was, and still is, what information can be gathered from images collected from a UAV, because as interesting and attractive as the images can be, they contain massive amounts of data. What information can you collect from the images and how can it be analyzed? What decisions can it then support? The “clues” may often be hiding in plain sight, you just need to know what you are looking for.

Hurtado says the trio have learned a lot of lessons along the way. “We’re going to talk about the lessons that we’ve learned to this point in 2023,” said Hurtado, “and a little bit about what is the future because we just keep moving.

“What is it that we can do with these tools that can really bring value to my friends, that is all we really [want], we want you to think how you can get technology and we add value to your business and to your position. Hopefully that is the key here. We’ve made this very, very seamless. What you can do with that tool is really nice. And these are a couple of things that we did last year. This year in January, we said hey, look, there’s this technology that might be able to count plants one by one using artificial intelligence. We kept on researching and seeing the possibilities.”

Whether it is actual physical observation, such as finding a break in a fence line that is allowing livestock to escape, mapping out drainage tiles to facilitate new connections, or observing an area that appears to be suffering from over/under fertilization, UAV technology along has the ability to analyze and interpret the data they provide. Knowledge is power, but it is also a way to make informed decisions that can save money, increase efficiency, and reduce waste.

In many ways, this too is looking at the bigger picture and finding new ways to do so.

For more information on TerraNova UAV, you can visit their website at