MU Professor: Drones Have Major Potential In Agriculture

Despite strict federal rules regulating drones for agricultural usage, University of Missouri Professor Bill Wiebold believes it’s important to plan for the future, reports Jack Witthaus of the Columbia Daily Tribune.

Wiebold spoke about drones at MU’s Bradford Research Center yesterday as part of the Ag Technology Fair. Wiebold said drones have major potential in the future of agriculture. The Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International wrote in a 2013 report that precision agriculture and public safety could make up 90% of known potential markets for unmanned aircraft systems.

Current Federal Aviation Administration rules ban the use of drones for commercial farming purposes. Wiebold said states are concerned about privacy issues involving drones. Although there have been proposals to limit drone usage, there are no state-level restrictions on drones in Missouri.

Last summer, the MU School of Journalism operated a Missouri Drone Journalism Program in collaboration with the Information Technology Program-sponsored Drone Lab and KBIA radio until the university received a cease-and-desist letter from the FAA. The university then had to apply for a “certificate of authorization,” or a federal permit, to continue using the drones for news-gathering purposes.

Read the full story on the Columbia Daily Tribune.

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6 comments on “MU Professor: Drones Have Major Potential In Agriculture

    1. I concur with the previous statement. Drones signify a week and useless object used by the military to practice shooting things out of the air. As a pilot I hope these unmanned aerial vehicles have enough equipment to see and be seen. If this does not happen let the military have more practice.

  1. As an aerial applicator I have real concerns about something as small as a drone flying over crops that I could be spraying. A collision would result in significant damage to my plane and/or injury or death to me.

    1. I fly a UAV sometimes, under a COA, and always issue a NOTAM. I have heard through the grapevine that not every aerial applicator bothers reading the NOTAMs. A safe airspace will require coordination and attention from all users.

    1. I agree with Billy Beevers, Its to dangerous for Aviation!! A collision would result in significant damage to a plane and/or injury or death to pilots. Small things like drones for agriculture purpose are hardly not notice in a litle time.. In England an Airbus almost crashed by a near miss collision with a Drone…Imaging that the 300 people in the plane get killed by collision with a drone..and your family is inside….Strict regulations and training hours for a UAS pilot is necessary and a transponder that aircontrolcenters can follow the activities of drones in a control zone

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