How New Drone Rules Could Change Agriculture

The Federal Aviation Administration is implementing new rules today about unmanned aerial vehicles.

By Leah ScarpelliAugust 28, 2016 6:03 pm| ,

Drones are about to occupy more air space over rural Texas. New rules go into effect today on the use of drones, which could revolutionize life on the farm.

In a video produced by the Texas Farm Bureau, rice farmer Tim Gertson called drones a “huge opportunity.” Some say drones could turn Texas farm and ranch country into a new Silicon Valley. Gary Joiner, with the Texas Farm Bureau, says that the new rules should answer questions that farmers had about drone usage.

“I think the rules will provide clarity, and farmers and ranchers who are interested and ready to make the investment in a drone were waiting to see wha FAA would require,” Joiner says.

Drones are used in farming and ranching for a variety of reasons: to monitor livestock, look for pests, and check on the health of crops, among others. Without drones, those tasks can be time and cost intensive. But with drones, farmers and ranchers are able to surveil large swaths of land easily.

“They call it precision agriculture, doing everything with utmost efficiency,” Joiner says, “using GPS, using calibrations, allowing you to do things just right. It saves input, it saves cost, it makes that field more economical, that livestock more productive.”

Post by Alexandra Hart.