Add a Drone as Your Crop Scout

After a June decision from the Federal Aviation Administration, small drones flown for commercial use now have finalized rules to which they must adhere.

Effective later this month, the new rules apply to unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) that weigh less than 55 pounds. These rules have the potential to make drones more accessible for agriculture applications.

A recent Farm Industry News story shares some key provisions outlined in the new rules. Among them, drone operators will only need a remote pilot certificate with a small unmanned aircraft systems rating, not a pilot’s license.

Other rules include that a small drone operator must maintain a line of sight with the drone, meaning that the operator must be able to see the drone as it flies. Additionally, 400 feet is the maximum altitude at which a small drone can fly.

The Federal Aviation Administration offers more details about the new rules here.

For a few seasons, we at have integrated drone technology into our research work. We suggest that a drone can glean more insights about crop health than we could collect otherwise.

In this video, Kent Kauffman of and Landon Teal of AgTech, Inc. share more information about drones as crop scouting tools, and they provide some tips that you can consider when scouting crops with a drone.

For more information about integrating a drone into your farm operation, contact us anytime.

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