By Farms.com Editors
Unmanned aerial systems are becoming more sophisticated and now farmers may be using remote controlled precision sprayers in the near future. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) approved an unmanned helicopter for test use in agriculture this month. The Yamaha RMAX has been approved in Japan for more than 20 years as a precision pesticide and fertilizer sprayer. See the video below of the Yamaha RMAX in action spraying a field in Japan.
This is the FAA’s first exemption approval to use unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) for spraying purposes in agriculture. Specialty crops, especially vineyards, are ideal for the helicopter where spraying from the ground, piloted aircrafts or on difficult terrain is ineffective. The UAV should allow farmers to target specific areas of their crops and cut down on application use. Other unmanned sprayers will need individual approval from the FAA.