The Gazette Times highlights how drones are being used in agriculture and forestry.

Wilbur-Ellis, a national billion-dollar agricultural supply company, recently received Federal Aviation Administration approval to operate the AgDrone commercially. Wilbur-Ellis representatives plan to use the drone to generate chemical prescription maps based on plant health. The drone’s sensors will provide the map data so that applicators can target specific areas and prevent over-spray.

HoneyComb’s research partnership with Oregon State University is highlighted on how new analysis techniques are being developed.

Wing heads OSU’s Aerial Information Systems Laboratory, which plans to test the HoneyComb AgDrone for forestry and agricultural purposes later this year through a grant from Oregon BEST, a nonprofit that supports clean technology innovation. The team recently received FAA approval to use the AgDrone, and Wing said the team plans to do flights for grass seed analysis in July.

Further, Dr. Wing notes,

Drones have the potential to revolutionize the agricultural industry, Wing said, because farmers no longer will have to rely on expensive and time-consuming manned flights to receive data on crops and plant stress. … Drones have the potential to revolutionize the agricultural industry, Wing said, because farmers no longer will have to rely on expensive and time-consuming manned flights to receive data on crops and plant stress.

The ease of use and system reliability is also highlighted:

The AgDrone is designed specifically for farmers. It is built of a lightweight Dupont Kevlar composite and carries two sensors to generate plant stress maps that automatically upload to a tablet or computer. Farmers need to launch and retrieve the drone, and preset coordinates on a flight plan, but the device automatically does the flying and provides the maps for the user.

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