Could Drones Be the Future of Farming?
Ever since Congress approved expanding drone use to the commercial sector by 2015, unmanned aerial systems (UAS) have become both a heated and humorous source of debate. Many states have already proposed legislation to limit their usage. Meanwhile, some entrepreneurs envision drones as the next big thing in delivery service. The TacoCopter — it only sounds like a joke — proposes drones for delivering Mexican food. And while the model won’t be feeding anyone tacos anytime soon, its hype still feeds the question: Come 2015, what will and should drones be used for?
According to Senator Jerry Moran (R-KS), their real potential lies in agriculture: “The agricultural application of UAS is the great combining of the great applications of the technology.”
A study by the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI) reports that the UAS industry could foster up to 100,000 new jobs between 2015 and 2025. Drones could assist farmers by providing aerial viewpoints of crops, which would allow for more selective watering and spraying of fertilizer.
While their role remains to be determined, it’s safe to say that drones won’t be dropping tacos from the sky, but may arguably be the next agricultural invention to change farming.