FarmPolicy

November 17, 2019

The Des Moines Register- New Drone Rules, Farms

Matthew Patane reported on the front page of today’s Des Moines Register that, “Newly proposed commercial rules for the use of unmanned aircraft open doors for Iowa farmers, Realtors and businesses to be more productive, experts said Monday.”

The article stated that, “The business sector has been clamoring for more than year for the Federal Aviation Administration to set rules for using drones, which are now illegal to use for commercial ventures. Several other countries, including Canada, the United Kingdom and Denmark, already are using drones commercially.

“The proposed rules the FAA released Sunday would limit drones to less than 55 pounds. They also would require drone operators to fly only during the day, maintain sight of their aircraft at all times and keep them under an altitude of 500 feet.”

With respect to farm use, Mr. Patane explained that, “Chris Draper, the director of Simpson College’s entrepreneur accelerator program, said the rules would help farmers and businesses get better images. But he doubts they would do much else to help farmers.

“‘What you’re able to do is get great new angles without hiring a helicopter,’ said Draper, who previously worked for the FAA. ‘It will not enable crop dusting or chemical application of fields.’

“That imaging is important, however. The agriculture sector is looking to drones as a way to more effectively scout farmland.” 190px; height: 310px

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