The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) just announced the first rules for the commercial use of small unmanned aircraft systems, commonly referred to as drones. With these new rules in place, companies are positioning themselves to integrate drones into normal business and the nation’s airspace.
And a Missouri company is taking the lead when it comes to drone usage in agriculture, further adding to the state’s leadership in AgTech and prescription agriculture.
“If you’ve got a stressed plant somewhere, it could be a bunch of different things: too much water, too little water, you need fertilizers, pesticides, whatever,” Casey Adams with Fly Ag Tech told NPR earlier this year. “If you don’t know where that problem is and you don’t know what’s causing it it’s because you don’t have the right information. So all of these things are just tools to diagnose the problem.”
The use of drones, satellites and data is transforming farming as we know it. Missouri companies, like Fly Ag Tech and Monsanto, are leading the way in investment and innovation in advanced farming. Monsanto recently acquired the Climate Corporation as it sought to provide in depth data to farmers to take agricultural efficiency to the next level.
“Bringing together the scientific understanding of the gene with the data science tools that let us understand the field, and in many cases the weather, lets us integrate that information to provide farmers with optimal decision-making support,” Robb Fraley, Monsanto’s CTO, told Ag Funder News.
Fly Ag Tech gathers that information by an infrared camera built into the drone, gets an agronomist to analyze it, then offers a prescription for the farmer for better yields. It’s making what’s called “precision agriculture” – yes, that’s really a thing – even more precise. And that’s a big part of the AgTech boom.
In Missouri, the future of AgTech is happening today. Big data, smart farming, input optimization, precision ag, prescription ag, biologicals, breeding, green chemistry, green pharmaceuticals … it’s all growing right here. What can we grow for you?
Oh, and Fly Ag Tech is currently hiring ag drone pilots. Drop them a note if you’re interested.