Drone Demonstration Showcases 'Future of Agriculture'

By Jonathan Cooper | jcooper@kq2.com

Published 07/30 2014 05:06PM

Updated 07/30 2014 10:55PM

(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) It may look like an alien spacecraft landing, but this is not something out of this world.

It's a device that some say is changing the way farmers work.

"They're real cost efficient, you're not going out and spending an arm and a leg to get one," said Tanner Fahrendorf from Fertilizer Dealer Supply, a company selling drones.

Drones, or more specifically unmanned aerial vehicles are giving farmers a bird's eye view of their fields.

"They're using it to where instead of having to walk their fields like they do now, they can take these and fly them over and they can check for weeds, insects," Fahrendorf said.

On Wednesday, the dealer showed the technology to students at Hillyard Technical Center.

"They're wanting to have new ways to attract kids into the Ag industry and they're thinking this is one way to get kids to come, wanna learn more about Ag," Fahrendorf said.

As of right now, drones can not be used commercially or for hire. The F.A.A. has restrictions on how they can be operated.

"You can't fly a UAV more than 400 feet, that's the ceiling," said Rick Sharp, an instructor with Hillyard Technical Center. "You can't fly a UAV within three to five miles of an airport."

But with a decision expected in the future, companies are looking to take advantage of the new technology.
It's something they hope will make farming more efficient and easier.

"It's just an all around good tool to have on your farm," Fahrendorf said. "With all the modern technology, it's things that people are wanting. They're wanting to get into the next stage of farming. I mean, electronics and things like this are the future of agriculture."

Copyright 2016 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.