FRANKLYWNOW - Tractors, Cattle, Drones? Unmanned Aircraft a New Farm Staple?

Tractors, Cattle, Drones? Unmanned Aircraft a New Farm Staple?

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By Jason Weinstein.
The Federal Aviation Administration has proposed new rules for small unmanned aircraft systems - also known as UAS, or drones- under 55 pounds. These new rules could open new worlds for a number of industries.

"That's going to cover precision agriculture work. That's going to cover a lot of what law enforcement does. That's going to cover a lot of the search and rescue," said Lawrence Brinker of NUAIR Alliance.

One farmer looking to take advantage? Tony Marzolino of Marz Farm in Berkshire.

"The other side all the way down there is almost three-quarters of a mile down. Even with something 100 feet in the air you can cover most of that ground right from here surveying it in a short period of time," said Marzolino.

Marzolino is excited the proposed rules, which still have to be approved,
would allow users to not have to have private pilot certificates. Instead those who control small UAS would need to pass an aeronautical test and follow rules such as limiting flights to 500 feet in altitude and no faster than 100 miles per hour.

"On this side there was actually soybeans on this one lower field. We would actually check it for insects and pests. You can also check it for weed growth. Being an organic grower you can also check it for water fertility and other things throughout the whole season," said Marzolino.

Marzolino would like to employ the technology this Spring to help with his harvest.

"In early May we can run a UAS over the field and see what our level of harvest is and maybe held off a week or two and it can be done very quickly," said Marzolino.

****Jason Weinstein, FOX 40 HD News****
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