Moran sees drones
in farming’s future

Sen. Jerry Moran predicted at an unmanned aircraft demonstration Tuesday in Salina that drones will contribute to U.S. agriculture, with Kansas poised to lead the way.

“There is real potential for this platform to be used responsibly and safely in an industry already booming in Kansas: agriculture,” he said. “The number of ways farmers and ranchers can utilize them are endless, from mapping the spread of disease or insects within a field to applying fertilizer to a specific area of crops, and I look forward to continued progress in this field.

Agriculture is expected to be the biggest market — perhaps 80 percent — for unmanned aircraft, according to a study by the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International.

Drones could be a low-cost way to spray for pests and diseases, analyze soil patterns, and check crops for signs of drought and blight. They could save farmers costs of hiring or operating manned aircraft.

 

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