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Serving: IA

One tech moving 'up'

One tech moving 'up'
High-flying UAVs get plenty of attention from farmers.

There's plenty of evidence you may be slowing those equipment purchases, but one area that remains hot for 2015 is the unmanned aerial vehicle - or drone. We're seeing more online links to drone-made videos that could be called UAV-selfies as farmers have the aerial units follow combines or tractors through the field.

Every farm show where UAVs are on display has shown that farmers have a high interest in these tools and their potential for on-farm information gathering. Of course, we still have a lot of questions and the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration's foot-dragging on regulations is slowing our potential for learning about these tools.

Farmers are hot on drones, as this crowd at the Sunbelt Ag Expo shows.

But as more farmers deploy UAVs in their businesses they'll learn what these machines can do - beyond making great videos - and they'll start sharing that information with others. If you're using a UAV on your farm, you can share what you've learned with me at the email address listed in the main story.

Of course, not everyone is a fan of drones. Some ask "what information can you really get?" And that question may have to wait for an FAA answer. When it's legal to use these machines widely will we get a pile of data we can manage and build better farming techniques on? Will farmers have to have a UAV to keep up with the data needs of their operations? That remains to be seen.

For those using drones - on their own, in line of sight, and below 400 feet - they'll get more information and hopefully we can learn more. This is a forum for sharing some of that knowledge. If you can take a moment to talk about your drone use and what you get out of it here on the site that would be super.

Just click on "comment" and follow the prompts. We would love to hear from you. This is a hot topic but is the tech right or agriculture yet?

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