Flexible rules critical for farmers to see full potential of drones

Unmanned aerial sys­­tems (UAS) or drones have the potential to be a game changer in agriculture. But farmers need flexibility in federal regulations to be able to safely use these new tools to their full potential for crop scouting, precision applications of fertilizer and pesticides, as well as other tasks, the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) said last week.

"Drones are the next evolution in American agriculture," said Dale Moore, AFBF executive director of public policy, in comments to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) about proposed rules governing UAS use. "Used properly, they let us grow more food on available land using less water and fewer pesticides. High-tech cameras and other airborne sensors give us important tools...

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