UAV Systems: Don’t Call ‘Em Drones

UAV Field Day Shot In a couple of weeks, I will be in Lansing, Michigan to chat with attendees at the Michigan Agri Business Association (MABA) annual conference. The topic, one of the hottest in high technology agriculture, is unmannned aerial vehicle (UAV) systems. While we’ve burned a lot of ink and megabytes covering the UAV movement in agriculture, I’ve sought a lot of counsel from industry friends who are closer to the “frontest front lines” than I am to get some reinforcing data and perspective. Last year was a real turning point for UAVs in agriculture in particular. There were manufacturers displaying UAV technology at the InfoAg Conference in July, and their booths were always buzzing, literally and figuratively.

What statement best describes your attitude and approach to use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) systems?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

Robert Blair, an Idaho farmer who’s been to Washington DC and back on a number of occasions and spoken to dozens of groups in recent years about UAV systems, says that agriculture is going to be a hot spot for commercial uses of the technology … if we steward the process properly over the next few years. Regulations will becoming from the Federal Aviation Administration related to commercial applications of UAV systems, and despite public concerns about spying, security and privacy, Blair believes that “cooler heads will prevail. But he adds that “agriculture needs to do its part by promoting the use, creating proactive resolutions for organizations, and contacting our federal elected officials.”

A small but meaningful step forward should be the elimination of the term “drones” from our vocabulary when referring to these systems ag. It’s a convenient, one syllable term, but also a media-driven lightning rod that incites all that is negative. UAV systems is a more professional, and frankly accurate description of what we’re doing … using unmanned aircraft as part of a total agronomic system, adding more data, boosting efficiency, and improving decision making.

Topics:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

3 comments on “UAV Systems: Don’t Call ‘Em Drones

  1. Thanks for reading, and I welcome the feedback. Well, tractors do have the benefit of not being related, in the public and media, to use as a military weapon. It is probably an impossible hill to climb, but the key point is that the professional use of UAV systems in agriculture has the potential to deliver significant benefits in ways that are beneficial to stewardship, accuracy and efficiency. Moving things forward while being saddled with the term “drone” may be an unfortunate weight we have to bear.

  2. I have a background in Radio Control Model Aircraft. I’ve been flying them since 1975. When the military first started to use “RC” aircraft they cloned the “UAV” term. I’ve folled that progress from the beginning.

    Today the newest buzz term is UAS or Unmanned Aerial System. This is the big stuff that the military and government agencies uses. For the rest of us, we will use SUAS or Small Unmanned Aerial System. In my opinion, the SUSA and UAS is a better fit as it truly is a “system” of components being used. I try to avoid the “D” word at all costs when talking about SUAS.

Data Stories
Western Canada Wheat field
DataFarmers Edge Partners With New Holland Dealer
September 28, 2016
Farmers Edge, a global leader in precision agriculture and independent data management solutions, has partnered with Mazergroup, North America’s largest Read More
A Satshot NDVIR analysis running on an iPad.
BusinessSatshot’s Landscout IOS Now API Linked With John Deere Operations Center
September 28, 2016
Satshot’s Landscout IOS mobile software is now connected with the John Deere Operations Center through John Deere’s API services. Landscout Read More
Ag Drone
BusinessDroneDeploy Launches Turbo Uploader
September 27, 2016
DroneDeploy today announced a new solution that addresses drone data portability challenges in remote areas that have Internet bandwidth constraints. Read More
FUSE Farm Graphic
DataAGCO Is Founding Member Of The DKE Data-Hub Initiative
September 26, 2016
AGCO Corp., a world-leading manufacturer and distributor of agricultural equipment, has announced its participation as a founding member of the DKE Read More
Trending Articles
Ian Yule, ISPA
ResearchLeading Ag Technology Researcher Appointed ISPA President
September 26, 2016
Massey University’s Professor Ian Yule, one of the world’s leading agri-tech researchers, has been voted president of the International Society Read More
Business2016 Farm Science Review: Talkin’ New Products, Education and Big Data
September 21, 2016
The Ohio State University’s Farm Science Review has become an annual rite of fall for Buckeye State growers, retailers and Read More
Mitchell Technical Institute students with drone
IntegratorsMTI Precision Ag Students Use Drone Technology
September 19, 2016
After weeks of sitting in the classroom, several Mitchell Technical Institute students were able to spend a few hours outside Read More
Robotics AGCO Fendt Guide Connect
Market ImpactReport: Ag Robots And Drones May Be A $10 Billion Market By 2022
September 7, 2016
Robots and drones have begun to quietly transform many aspects of agriculture. In fact, the IDTechEx Research report on Agricultural Read More
SDWG Bret Weisenburger
BusinessMZB Technologies, Climate FieldView Announce Data Integration for 2017 Season
September 6, 2016
MZB Technologies announces a data connectivity agreement with The Climate Corporation, a subsidiary of Monsanto Co., providing increased precision agriculture Read More
Deere R4023 cab
BusinessReport: Smart Agriculture Market Worth $19 Billion By 2021
September 6, 2016
Research and Markets has announced the addition of the “Smart Agriculture Market – With Forecast (2016-2021)” report to their offering. Read More
Latest News
Sentera Rise Above
BusinessRise Above Selected To Resell Sentera Solutions Through…
September 28, 2016
Sentera, LLC, a global provider of remote sensing hardware and data management solutions signs a reseller agreement with Rise Above Read More
Western Canada Wheat field
DataFarmers Edge Partners With New Holland Dealer
September 28, 2016
Farmers Edge, a global leader in precision agriculture and independent data management solutions, has partnered with Mazergroup, North America’s largest Read More
A Satshot NDVIR analysis running on an iPad.
BusinessSatshot’s Landscout IOS Now API Linked With John …
September 28, 2016
Satshot’s Landscout IOS mobile software is now connected with the John Deere Operations Center through John Deere’s API services. Landscout Read More
Ag Drone
BusinessDroneDeploy Launches Turbo Uploader
September 27, 2016
DroneDeploy today announced a new solution that addresses drone data portability challenges in remote areas that have Internet bandwidth constraints. Read More
FUSE Farm Graphic
DataAGCO Is Founding Member Of The DKE Data-Hub Initiative
September 26, 2016
AGCO Corp., a world-leading manufacturer and distributor of agricultural equipment, has announced its participation as a founding member of the DKE Read More
Ian Yule, ISPA
ResearchLeading Ag Technology Researcher Appointed ISPA Preside…
September 26, 2016
Massey University’s Professor Ian Yule, one of the world’s leading agri-tech researchers, has been voted president of the International Society Read More
BusinessADAPT Conversion Toolkit Making In Roads With Equipment…
September 22, 2016
A leading group of equipment manufacturers will soon release products that greatly enhance a grower’s ability to manage data across Read More
Business2016 Farm Science Review: Talkin’ New Products, Educati…
September 21, 2016
The Ohio State University’s Farm Science Review has become an annual rite of fall for Buckeye State growers, retailers and Read More
Farmers Edge Truck
DataFarmers Edge Awarded $6.1M Investment From Sustainable …
September 21, 2016
Farmers Edge, a global leader in precision agriculture and independent data management solutions, has announced that it will receive $6,107,563 Read More
BusinessGMO Aphids to Battle Weeds? It’s Not as Far Fetch…
September 21, 2016
No, I am not talking about optimizing aphids for a global agricultural armageddon. That would be silly. I’m talking about Read More
Young Corn Field
Best PracticesNitrogen: The Key to Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions
September 20, 2016
Precision ag can play a key role in reducing agriculture’s impact on greenhouse gases by limiting the nitrogen rate. Read More
W. Wade Robey, Raven
Industry NewsRaven Adds New Director Of Engineering
September 19, 2016
W. Wade Robey, Ph.D., joined Raven Applied Technology in August 2016 as Director of Engineering. In this role, he leads Read More
Mitchell Technical Institute students with drone
IntegratorsMTI Precision Ag Students Use Drone Technology
September 19, 2016
After weeks of sitting in the classroom, several Mitchell Technical Institute students were able to spend a few hours outside Read More
BusinessOPINION: Climate Corp. is the Jewel in Bayer’s Monsanto…
September 15, 2016
PERSPECTIVE: Over the next few days and weeks in the ag media space the major players will examine this latest Read More
Sugarcane India
Market ImpactPlantations International Brings Precision Farming Tech…
September 14, 2016
Hong Kong-based plantation and farm management company Plantations International has announced it is moving its contact centre from the Indian Read More
Corn close up
Start-UpsLewis & Clark Ventures Raises $20 Million For Agric…
September 13, 2016
Lewis & Clark Ventures, a venture capital firm focused on Series A and B stage investments, has announced $20 million Read More
BusinessSentera Joins Forces With Another Drone Distributor
September 13, 2016
Sentera has signed an exclusive distribution agreement with Dynamic UAV Solutions North America, LLC, a new distributor in the commercial Read More
New Zealand agriculture
Market ImpactPrecision Ag Technology Helping New Zealand Agriculture…
September 12, 2016
New Zealand has an enormous opportunity to use technology as a means to support the economic growth of its agri Read More