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Rantizo becomes first company approved to operate T-30 Drones

Iowa City agtech company Rantizo announced today that it has become the first company approved by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for operation of the DJI Agras T-30 drone for agricultural applications.

The T-30 drone launched earlier in 2021, but could not be operated due to the FAA regulation only allowing the use of drones 55 pounds and under. With the exemptions received, Rantizo is the first and only company in the U.S. with the necessary approvals to operate the drone on a commercial scale. 

“This new platform is more than just a larger drone,” said Rantizo Special Projects Manager Beau Brown in a release. “The DJI T-30 represents a three-generation jump in technological advancements in aerial drone sprayers, such as new avionics, obstacle avoidance and more intelligent field management. These tools, combined with Rantizo’s expertise and support, will ensure our contractors and pilots continue to be the most successful in the drone application industry.”

“We’ve been seeing demand for bigger drones since day one,” said Rantizo Marketing Manager Emily Carlson. “However, we are calculated in what products we offer within our system for drone applications and when we release them. Headed into the 2022 season, our approvals for use of the T-30 will be a game-changer for both Rantizo contractors and the growers they serve.”

To date, Rantizo’s system has been primarily focused around the 10 Liter DJI Agras MG-1P. The Iowa City-based startup added proprietary technology such as their Upgrade Kit and additional waivers for multi-drone swarming to optimize productivity in the field. The addition of a larger drone with more payload capacity, speed and use-case functionality will bring drone application viability across a larger spectrum into the 2022 season.

“As a company, we have developed a culture around product development that originates from what the customer wants,” said CEO Michael Ott. “In our case we have two customer segments to consider: our network of contractors who want the most productive drone application system available to provide services, and their farmer customers who want both precision and cost-effective options for in-field applications. Whether we tackle this with multiple drones, or larger drones, the result is a win-win for both and that’s always what we keep at the forefront. Our approvals for the T-30 are just the next step in the evolution of where drone applications are headed for ag.”

Rantizo received their initial approvals for single drone spraying operations from the FAA in July of 2019. At that time, the company became the first and only approved for drone spraying in the state of Iowa. In July of 2020, the company became the first approved for 3-drone swarming nationwide. Now, with approvals for operation of the T-30, the company just shy of four years old, continues a path of fast-paced innovation.

With the latest approvals, Rantizo now has the green light to offer the T-30 drone for sale. Rantizo plans to roll out the T-30 availability for purchase by December.

Previous coverage

Rantizo raises $7.5 million Series A Round

Rantizo receives FAA approval to operate drone swarms

Rantizo becomes first company fully licensed for drone spraying in 10 states

1 Comment

  • Media Iowa
    Posted November 19, 2021 at 8:57 am

    Rantizo didn’t do anything 1st! Too bad they paid off the FAA!! There was people that applied long before! Simple proof that money can buy off the government! When we get done with our investigation, Rantiza will be seen for what it is.

Comments are closed.

Rantizo becomes first company approved to operate T-30 Drones | Clay & Milk
A central Iowa ag-tech accelerator has secured more backers and finally has a name. The Greater Des Moines Partnership first announced the accelerator last year, naming four initial investors. On Monday, the Partnership said the program will be called the "Iowa AgriTech Accelerator" and named three new investors. The new investors include Grinnell Mutual, Kent Corp. and Sukup Manufacturing, all Iowa companies. They join investors Deere & Co., Peoples Co., Farmers Mutual Hail Insurance Co. and DuPont Pioneer. Each investor has agreed to put up $100,000 for the first year of the accelerator. Startups entering the program will receive $40,000 in seed funding in exchange for 6 percent equity. Tej Dhawan, an angel investor and local startup mentor, is serving as interim director until the AgriTech Accelerator names a permanent leader. Dhawan held a similar role with the GIA before Brian Hemesath was named as managing director. As interim director, Dhawan said his main job includes hiring the accelerator's executive director, establishing a business structure and initial recruiting for the first cohort. The accelerator will place few filters, such as location and product, on the applicant pool, Dhawan said. "When you’re seeking innovation, innovation can come from every corner of the world so why restrict ourselves," he said. One area the the AgriTech Accelerator won't recruit from is biotech. For its first cohort, the AgriTech Accelerator will work out of the GIA's space in Des Moines' East Village, Dhawan said. A future, permanent home is still to be decided. The accelerator's program will host startups from mid-July through mid-October, ending with an event connected to the annual World Food Prize. The GIA, which the AgriTech Accelerator is based on, also ends with presentations at an industry event. The accelerator has also started lining up a mentor pool. The Iowa Corn Growers Association, Iowa Soybean Association and the Iowa Pork Producers Association have agreed to provide mentors, as has Iowa State University. While the AgriTech Accelerator is loosely based off of the GIA, it will differ in its business structure, Dhawan said. The GIA runs through a for-profit model for both operations and its investment fund. The AgriTech Accelerator will have a nonprofit model for its operations and a for-profit setup for its fund. Dhawan said the nonprofit model is being used so the accelerator can better work with other nonprofit partners, such as trade associations. "These are all organizations that are nonprofits and can be amazing stakeholders without ever having to be investors in the accelerator," he said. "It becomes easier to work with trade associations in their nonprofit role when we are also a nonprofit." When it's up and running, the AgriTech Accelerator would be one of a handful of ag-focused startup development programs in Iowa. Others include the Ag Startup Engine out of Iowa State University and the Rural Ventures Alliance from Iowa MicroLoan. Matthew Patane is the managing editor and co-founder of Clay & Milk. Send him an email at
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