Farmers consider using drones on crops

 Resize text         Printer-friendly version of this article Printer-friendly version of this article

While most headlines about unmanned aircrafts and farms have involved animal rights groups, universities and businesses are experimenting with ways drones can be used to a farmer’s advantage.

Drone Universities are using unmanned aircrafts to monitor crops, taking detailed pictures of high-value commodities to see things unseen by the naked eye. On top of the improved details, farmers can use the aircrafts at a much cheaper price point than aircrafts requiring a pilot.

According to The Wall Street Journal, Oregon State University is one of several universities using drones for nonmilitary purposes on the farm. The technology is part of the growing interest in precision agriculture, using new tools like iPads and GPS to monitor crops. Information gathered by precision agriculture can show crop conditions and help a producer determine which fields need more water, additional fertilizer, or protection from insects.

Currently, only farms working with universities conducting the research can use the unmanned aircrafts, but the technology will be more available once the Federal Aviation Administration established guidelines, expected by September 2015.

R.S. Tahim, President and CEO of Advanced Defense Technologies Inc., announced marketing plans in April to utilize drone and UAV technology for precision agriculture applications.

"Drones have been used for military applications for a long time but in the very near future commercial applications in the agriculture industry are definitely possible," he said. “Once autonomous aircraft are used with a high rate of success in rural areas we expect a transition toward precision agriculture and the utilization of drone technology to reduce costs and maximize yields.”

The Wall Street Journal reports the unmanned aircrafts could generate more than 21,000 jobs in the agriculture industry in the first year.

Comments (3) Leave a comment 

e-Mail (required)


characters left

kansas  |  May, 07, 2013 at 11:37 AM

Great ideas! And The Predator is already named in alignment with your average ag chemical company's marketing verbage. I'm sure they're already developing a herbicide or insecticide named "hellfire" (or Skyfire?) for this too. (note - if they haven't - this is copyright evidence that I own the "concepts" - ha!). And, there's those freakin' lasers too. Death from Above... for the European Corn Borer!

personal Drone    
Kalispell Mt  |  May, 07, 2013 at 10:04 PM

I am offering the use of my drone for free to any farmer contact me @

personal Drone    
May, 07, 2013 at 10:07 PM

I am offering the use of my drones for free to any farmer contact me at

7080 Series Self-propelled Forage Harvesters

ProDrive™ senses which axle has more traction and sends power to that axle. A new faster, more reliable spout turning ... Read More

View all Products in this segment

View All Buyers Guides

Feedback Form
Leads to Insight