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Drones taking off in Agriculture Industry
Tuesday, February 13th 2018 —
Drones on the farm!
Some believe they're the future of farming, and can help save farmers money in the long run.
Farmer, Carl Belcher has some physical restraints.
“I have an artificial hip and an artificial knee,” said Belcher.
While maintaining his farm, he almost injured himself.
"Two years ago while scouting my farm,” said Belcher. “There's a little ditch that I have to go down and then come up and I couldn't get back up.”
It's hard for him to get down and dirty on his 60-acre farm. So he decided to go to a workshop on drone technology in agriculture, hosted by the Small Farm Outreach Program.
“I wanted to get an understanding of how drones could scalp my fields,” said Belcher. “They could also evaluate them and do some of the labor intensive things.”
Samantha Herndon works closely with drones at the Institute for Advanced Learning in Danville.
"Agriculture is one of the leading industries for incorporating drones,” said Herndon. “What that can do is give famers the ability to observe what they’re crops are looking like in season without having to actually enter their field."
The institute is willing to provide farmers with a drone. They’ll get five free flights throughout the growing season, thanks to a grant from the Tobacco Commission.
“If you have crop loss a lot of times you don’t know about it until you're harvesting and you're in the middle of the corn field,” said Cassidy Shelton with the Small Farm Outreach Program. “If
you're able to fly a drone over, then you're going to see crop loss before you lose it."
Belcher said he'd like to see a drone on his farm
“Since I'm just beginning having the ability to get my soil evaluated and see what’s out there on my farm is what I’m interested in.”