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Corn group welcomes UAS ruling

The announcement that recreational users of drones must register their systems with the federal government is good news, the president of the National Corn Growers Association says.

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Agweek

The announcement that recreational users of drones must register their systems with the federal government is good news, the president of the National Corn Growers Association says. The U.S. Department of Transportation said Oct. 19 that it hopes to set up the registration process within two months. Details must still be worked out. Registration is seen as a response to a surge in sales of cheap, easy-to-use drones, or unmanned aerial systems (UAS), that are interferring to regular air service.
"As with any technology, unmanned aerial systems will make our farms safer, more efficient and more environmentally friendly," Chip Bowling, a farmer from Newburg, Maryland, who leads the national corn group, says in a prepared statement. "That’s good for farmers, good for consumers and good for the environment. We support reasonable rules and regulations to govern UAS technology."

He says, "Most farmers who use a drone will do so over open cropland in rural areas, far away from airports or large population centers. We hope the Federal Aviation Administration will recognize the important commercial applications of UAS technology and create rules that will put the technology in farmers’ hands."

The Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International estimates that agriculture will account for as much as 80 percent of all commercial UAS use. Applications of unmanned aerial systems include crop scouting; early detection of pest infestations and crop disease; more precise application of fertilizers and other crop inputs; and reducing the need for humans in potentially dangerous tasks.

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