|By Jonathan Knutson, Agweek Magazine|
|McClatchy-Tribune Information Services|
The concern is that unmanned aerial vehicles will share low-level air space with aerial ag applicators, giving the latter "one more thing to worry about when they're in the air," says
But UAVs also hold promise for aerial ag applicators, who wonder if unmanned aerial vehicles will give them further opportunities to serve farmers.
UAVs, sometimes known as drones, have many potential uses in agriculture, including monitoring crops. They have possible uses in other industries, too, and could create 100,000 new jobs and
With that in mind,
Reports are circulating that the
In the meantime, the
Rau says the
'Evolution in agriculture'
In any case, both UAV advocates and aerial ag applicators say they share the same goal.
"The UAV guys want to work for agriculture. Our guys want to work for agriculture. Now we just have to find a way to work together safely," Rau says.
He says he's talked with a number of aerial ag applicators and found "them a little wary, and rightly so" of UAVs.
On one hand, "They want to figure out if there are ways they can use this (UAVs) in their business," he says. "It's just the evolution in agriculture."
On the other, "They have concern about safety, and it's a valid concern," he says.
"At the end of the day, it's about safety," Dvorak says. "It's important (for the UAV industry) to understand how general aviation operates."
"No one wants to see a situation where an autonomous vehicle is responsible for the death or injury of a human. We just have to take the proper steps to make the chances of that happening as minimal as possible," Dvorak says.
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