Farmers Use Drones to Check Their Crops

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As a farmer, you likely need to keep a close eye on the growth of your crops or survey hundreds of acres of crops after a storm or other natural disaster. Agriculture experts now say that farmers should look to the skies for some help in doing so. John Perry, President of the Coastal Plains chapter of the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI), says “Drones have gotten very popular recently, and it’s not just under the Christmas tree. It’s out in the construction, infrastructure, civil engineering and transportation, but one of the biggest places we’re seeing this technology applied is down on the farm.” Technology, known as precision agriculture, gives farmers a new way to inspect crops, look for damage, detect nitrogen levels and apply spray applications of fertilizer or pesticides more efficiently. And since the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) issuance of the final Part 107 rule, there has been a big boom of use of drones in agriculture. Farmers are even using drones to inspect miles and miles of fencing to be sure that it is still intact and keeping livestock on the property. Drones are even pre-checking and post-checking erosion damage to pinpoint changes down to an inch. And perhaps an unimaginable use, drones are being used as birds or insects by attaching a little sachet of pollen to disperse it in the same way that the natural system would do so. While drones are already being used for many of these purposes, the goal of groups like AUVSI is to educate more farmers across the country of the great benefits of this technology and the ease of use. Surely we will see even more drones popping up in the agricultural industry this year.

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