Ag Interest in UAVs Really Taking Off

Cindy Zimmerman

nfms14-uavUnmanned Aerial Vehicles – call them UAVs or drones or just remote-controlled airplanes – have been around for decades, but using them for agricultural practices is just really starting to take off.

A good crowd showed up for a session on UAVs sponsored by Farm Industry magazine at the recent National Farm Machinery Show where University of Kentucky (UK) mechanical engineer Dr. Suzanne Smith was one of the presenters. The UK recently announced the formation of an Unmanned Systems Research Consortium (USRC) to advance unmanned aerial, ground and underwater systems, and to explore commercial applications for the technology in Kentucky.

nfms14-uav-uk“It’s faculty members from across the university,” says Smith. “From ag, ag engineering, forestry, mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, computer science – all working together to advance technologies – and we’re working with companies.”

She and other panelists entertained lots of questions from the audience at the NFMS which indicated a great deal of interest from farmers in using more advanced UAV technology. “It’s very exciting right now,” she said. “In the end it’s really time-saving and efficiency, and that’s what everybody is really looking for.”

Find out more in this interview: Interview with Suzanne Smith, University of Kentucky

2014 National Farm Machinery Show Photo Album

Sponsored by Ag Leader Technology

Aerial Application, Aerial Imagery, Audio, National Farm Machinery Show, UAV

Comments 3

  1. I am from Illinois and would like to use UAV’s commercially in agriculture but Illinois beat the FAA’s rules by outlawing them except with a search warrant. Seems to me like everyone is putting the cart before the horse. The airspace system is mostly against UAV’s. Why do you think this will change?

  2. I am from Illinois and would like to use UAV’s commercially in agriculture but Illinois beat the FAA’s rules by outlawing them except with a search warrant. Seems to me like everyone is putting the cart before the horse. The airspace system is mostly against UAV’s. Why do you think this will change?

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