New Regulations Could Ground Agricultural Drones

08:00AM Mar 12, 2020
Drone
Eyes in the sky guide boots and decisions on the ground.
( Farm Journal )

New regulations involving drones could limit farmer access to these technologies. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is proposing a new rule that would require any drone user to connect to the internet and broadcast a signal to alert others of its presence and identification.

Some fear this could limit drone use on farms and ranches because of limited internet access.

“Requiring drones to connect to the internet and broadcast a signal would remove one of the newest tools in the toolbox for farmers and ranchers during a time when they have already seen a drastic 50% decline in net farm income in the last four years,” according to the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) in a recent news release.

Others suggest FAA requirements could limit technology adoption, too.

“Other farmers don’t want to own a drone because they have to be licensed to fly one on the farm, legally, if they make business decisions with it,” says Steve Cubbage, president and owner of Nevada, Mo.-based Record Harvest.

Drones are frequently used in compacities such as checking on livestock or row crops. They have proven to be an exceptional tool for many tasks on the farm. The innovation of technology brought to farms has helped tremendously with everyday chores. Some farmers and ranchers use the drones for scoping out land and even herding cattle. This advancement in technology can also save farmers and ranchers time and money.

Regulation Details and Challenges

According to the FAA’s new proposal, drones will need to be connected to Wi-Fi while in flight and transmit their remote IDs. This could ground some farmers’ drones and could cause an issue in the everyday productivity on the farm.

 Nearly 29% of farms and ranches do not have access to the internet, which would cause a major rub with these new regulations. However, to offset this challenge the AFBF is working with the FAA to provide flexibility to farmers and ranchers who are lack adequate internet.

If these regulations do not provide certain exemptions many agriculturalists will be affected. To receive more information on how to get your drone registered and licensed go to www.faa.gov . To follow this story, watch the clip below of Farm Journal’s AgDay News and follow AgWeb for more updates.

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