Produtiva Aeroagrícola is an aerial spraying company located in São Joaquim da Barra, in the northern part of the state of São Paulo, Brazil, the largest producer of ethanol and sugar in the world. Incorporated 10 years ago by Marino de Andrade Neto, an agricultural pilot since 1991, the company has a fleet of six aircraft: three Ipanemas 202A, a Cessna Agtruck, an AirTractor 402A and a Thrush 510G.
Marino started working in firefighting with his turbo planes, mostly in the sugar cane plantation, operating conventional door boxes. He told us a bit about the evolution of his work:
“We are working to develop the market to add aerial firefighting to our agricultural operations, as we realized there may be demand for this consolidation from our existing agricultural customers. We also broadcast firefighting activities widely, directly to customers, as well as on social media.
We serve individual rural producers, producer associations, sugar cane factories and municipalities. We have not yet implemented daily shifts or minimum availability hours, but we are trying to educate customers about this need. For now, we are working on demand.
One of the services rendered last year in the Morro Agudo region (30 km from its base), where the company was hired for two days by the local farmers’ union. In addition to rural producers, the operation benefited from the support of agro-industrial companies in the region, firefighters and municipal and national civil protection. As there were hard-to-reach areas, the work of the aircraft was critical to the success of the operation.
In 2021, Marino installs its first fire barrier on its Thrush 510G. The aircraft was the second Thrush in the country to be equipped with hydraulic equipment from a Brazilian manufacturer. The company helped Zanoni develop the technology:
“Sergio and Lucas Zanoni stayed here for two days, making the necessary adjustments to install the door on our aircraft. It was a new development and it serves us well. In addition to significantly improving blowback compared to a common door box, the equipment remains on the aircraft for spray work. This is a fundamental element for the aerial spraying companies, because we work almost all year round also with farms”.
Like other operators in the region, Produtiva has been encouraged to work with firefighters in the sugarcane sector. Farmers and factories are starting to invest in hiring this type of service to protect their assets – it’s a win-win with the aircraft able to protect with spray and fire suppression applications. The result was not only reduced financial losses, but gains for society as a whole. In addition to reducing emissions of polluting gases in the production of these products, agricultural aircraft also began to help fight fires in forest reserves (private and public), becoming a fundamental tool for natural defense and agriculture sustainable.
“Let there be no fires, but if there are, we will do our best to contribute to the fight and thus minimize casualties.” The company motto is an excellent representation of what the agricultural aviation sector has done in Brazil.