OKLAHOMA CITY – Privacy concerns weigh heavy on the governmental use of UAS. But for farmers in Oklahoma and all around the United States, UAS could be a necessary tool to the future of farming.
“The technology is pretty new to our members but as we go and technology gets stronger I see a huge market for it in the future,” said Oklahoma Farm Bureau’s John Collison.
UAS is already a tool for many Oklahoma Farmers.
“Check their cattle, check their property, use these drone for precision agriculture and make sure we are farming the most efficient and effective way possible,” Collison said.
Oklahoma Farm Bureau’s John Collison still hears concerns from other farmers across the state.
“Farmers want to use these drones in a correct manner and under FAA guidelines and using them correctly,” Collison said.
In an exclusive statement to News 9, the FAA clarified the issue, stating:
“Farmers may operate an unmanned aircraft over their own property for personal use and Guidelines for the operation of model aircraft, such as those published by the Academy of Model Aeronautics, may be used by farmers as reference for safe model UAS operations.”
One priority guideline from the AMA… “(c) Not fly higher than approximately 400 feet above ground level within three (3) miles of an airport without notifying the airport operator.”
“System are much smaller, and has the capability to sense where his crops need to be watered,” said Retired Major General Toney Stricklin.
Retired Major General of the US Army and member of the Oklahoma Unmanned Aircraft Council Toney Stricklin knows the difference between military and commercial drones, and feels farming is just the beginning.
“I Like to say the genie is out of the bottle. This technology will continue to grow in public safety and agriculture,” Stricklin said.
It really is just the beginning. General Stricklin estimates in the next 20 years, UAS will be a multi-billion dollar industry.