Drone usage continues to lift off in the agriculture industry.
Crop insurer ADM Crop Risk Services said on Wednesday that the Federal Aviation Administration had approved the company to use drones in its business. The unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) will be used to review crop damage claims.
Greg Mills, president of ADM Crop Risk Services, said the drones are expected to speed the claims process for customers.
“Our innovative UAV technology—which includes not only the vehicles, but the software to integrate them smoothly into our Aeros suite of claims software—allows us to locate and calculate crop damage and transfer that information into a claim quickly, accurately and efficiently, so our customers can get their payments faster than ever before,” he said.
How soon will ADM CRS’s farmer customers see this for themselves? The company said it planned to continue testing the drones this year, with the intention of launching the program in 2016 in the Midwest.
The FAA, which granted its first agricultural drone permits in agriculture in January, has been reworking its UAV policies.
In April, the agency announced that it would be taking a more “flexible regulatory approach to accommodate this rapidly evolving technology.”
So far in April, the FAA has approved 120 “Section 333” exemptions for UAV use, including 22 for agricultural uses.
(Curious about what firms are moving into the drone space? See who has received exemptions here.)