Farmers eager for drones, but most can't legally fly them

Jul 5, 2015 12:59 PM by News Staff

CORDOVA, Md. (AP) - Farmers are eager for drone technology.

The small, relatively inexpensive unmanned aerial vehicles could replace humans in a variety of ways around large farms, such as transmitting detailed information about crops, directing farmers to problem spots and cutting down on the amount of water and chemicals used.

The use of drones in agricultural is just taking off this year after being grounded by the lack of federal guidelines.

The Federal Aviation Administration approved more than 50 exemptions for farm-related operations since January. Companies with exemptions say business has grown, helped by quick advances in the technology.

Still, most farmers can't legally fly drones.

The FAA is working on rules that would allow the aerial drones to be used regularly for business while maintaining certain safety and privacy standards.

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.


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