FOR FARMERS & RANCHERS
Lindsay Bowman, The Ohio State University
unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV), are military aircraft that are
now also being used to help growers be more precise in their
farming. These flying robots could allow farmers to detect
changes in water content, plant health and pesticide dispersal
in their fields, according to researchers at Ohio State
pilot programs researching the technology are still under way,
researchers from the Ohio State University Aeronautics and
Astronautics Research Laboratory showcased UAV technology and
its impact on precision agriculture during the three-day Farm
Science Review, Sept. 18-20, near London, Ohio.
military was the early adopter of this technology, the civilian
applications in agriculture, search and rescue, and various
other tasks is fast approaching," said Matt McCrink, a Ph.D.
student in aerospace engineering at Ohio State and a research
assistant to Jim Gregory, an assistant professor of mechanical
and aerospace engineering at Ohio State.
the Federal Aviation Administration does not allow UAVs to
operate in national airspace. However, the FAA has allowed
special certifications for universities, including Ohio State,
and other public institutions to test whether UAVs can safely be
integrated into national airspace.
gathered in these pilot programs will be instrumental in the
development of regulations and commercialization of drone
technology, which could significantly impact the cost of crop
production," McCrink said. "In addition, monitoring and
recording plant health, water usage and pesticide dispersal will
allow for the creation of a historical database which farmers
might use to project future crop yields and soil health."
Review was sponsored by the College of Food, Agricultural, and
Environmental Sciences, OSU Extension, and the Ohio Agricultural
Research and Development Center.
information, see http://fsr.osu.edu
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