The use of drones in agriculture is set to increase after previously being held back by a lack of federal guidelines.
Drones could be used for a number of tasks which are currently undertaken by humans, such as relaying information about crops to combine harvesters and sprayers. In this way farmers could direct equipment to problem areas, as well as cutting down on the amount of water and chemicals used, writes Mary Clare Jalonick for The Associated Press.
Myriad benefits of drone use
The use of drones in agriculture is expected to increase exponentially, and the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International, a trade group, believes that up to 80% of all commercial drone use could come from agriculture.
Since the beginning of the year over 50 exemptions have been granted by the Federal Aviation Authoity for farm-related drone operations. Those that received the exemptions report that business is growing thanks to the technology.
Bret Chilcott of AgEagle, a company which sells drones and related software, claims that the company now has a significant waiting list.