According to Kris Poulson, vice president of agriculture for Sentera, an estimated 45,000 farmers across the U.S. received a drone or unmanned aerial system for Christmas, reports Keith Norman on TheDickinsonPress.com.
Sentera is a Minneapolis-based company that develops and markets the imaging technology used by drones to photograph farm fields and other resources.
Poulson was part of a panel on UAS technology that spoke at the Precision Ag Summit this week at the North Dakota Farmers Union headquarters in Jamestown, ND.
Some of those farmers will probably be making an application to the Federal Aviation Administration for the proper certificates to use drones in a farm operation, according to Paul Gunderson, director of the Dakota Precision Ag Center. This is called a Section 333 Exemption.
“When you file a 333 request, it defines how you intend to use the technology,” Gunderson said. “The application can be 12 to 20 pages depending on how the narratives are filled out.”
The FAA website says a hobbyist flying a small drone of less than a half-pound is not required to have an exemption or a pilot’s license. Anyone using a drone in his or her business, such as a farmer using the drone to scout fields, is required to have the Section 333 Exemption and follow the guidelines included in the exemption.