Eric Rojek is Thrush Aircraft’s VP Sales. He explained to us that the “ag aircraft” is an unusual asset. Since, in the US, the market is predominately owner/operator, the demands of delivering an asset that performs is a primary focus for his company. For example, how does an an aircraft operator survive on $7-$10 in revenue per acre treated?
The aircraft costs between $350-500 per hour to run. Revenues are typically between $1,000 to $1,250 per hour. A season for aerial companies is about 500 hours per year. The aircraft generates between $2,000 to 4,000 per day. The margins very tight.
To make things even more challenging, we are rapidly approaching what people here refer to as “precision ag”. Aircraft will need real-time data feeds on the state of the crop, allowing each drop to be tailored to each part of each field.