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Farms.com Corn Belt Crop Tour wrap-up event: Part I

Daryl Patterson of A&L talks about drones

By Diego Flammini, Farms.com

The 4th annual Farms.com US Corn Belt Crop Tour is over for another year and culminated with a wrap up event at the Penta Tillage manufacturing plant in Glencoe, Ontario.

The event, attended by nearly a hundred farmers, consisted of exhibitors, and speakers who shared their experiences about the tour’s findings and new technology being implemented in agriculture.

One of the technologies growing in popularity is the use of drones/UAV (unmanned aerial vehicles).

“Instead of manually controlling, you draw a box around the field with a Google image,” said Daryl Patterson, Marketing & Technology Manager with A&L Canada. “You tell it what camera you have in there and it plans (the route). You throw the plane in the air and it’s going to go and take pictures.”

The farmers can then use those images to make informed decisions about their farms including fertilizer application and yield potential.

While drones are a great tool for farmers to use on their farms, Transport Canada needs certain requirements to be met:

  • Special Flight Operating Certificates (SFOC) must be obtained
  • 300-500 ft. altitude
  • Line of sight must be within 2km
  • No flying within 7km of an airport

The regulations are in place, but they’re not quite concrete yet.

“The paperwork can be a little daunting because there’s no template to follow,” Patterson said. “At first they make you jump through some hoops but they’re definitely working with us.”

Join the conversation and tell us if you use UAVs on your farm. What benefits have you seen from them? What have been some drawbacks?

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