Drones for Ag
Drones For Ag. I’m Greg Martin with today’s Line On Agriculture.
Drones are hot news. The latest issues of Popular Science features drones. Well, high-tech agriculture is about to get even more techy as the FAA is now deciding on test sites for domestic drones to be used for ag, search-and-rescue and other non-warfare applications. The FAA is expected to pick half a dozen test sites in December and expects 75-hundred drones to fill the air in five-years. Many will be used on the farm - according to Gretchen West with the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International.
WEST: Our primary function really is to provide aerial imagery of whatever crop may be and so USDA can find tremendous value in using these systems. Most of them are very small. Kind of around 25 pounds and even less and can be deployed very easily. They’re remotely operated from a person on the ground.
The FAA is developing rules for commercial drone use by farmers. Current rules allow public agencies - like USDA - to use them - though EPA has stirred controversy with its use of surveillance drones in the Midwest. West says one advantage to the drones farmers would use is their affordability - especially the smaller ones.
WEST: Some of those range anywhere from $5000 to $50,000 and that really varies on the type of equipment. The cameras that you put on - if put on a camera that can do thermal imagery, those types of cameras get more expensive.
That’s today’s Line On Agriculture. I’m Greg Martin on the Ag Information Network.