YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WYTV) – Many industries are exploring uses for drones, including police departments and delivery services. And drones are even making their way onto farms.
Aaron Campbell is a certified commercial drone pilot with River Hawk Drones and says the aircraft will soon become a common sight on farms across the country. Campbell predicts drone use will grow faster in agriculture than in any other industry.
“The agriculture market for drones is expected to grow into an 89 million dollar industry by the year 2025,” Campbell said.
Farmers are finding a variety of uses for them, including planting seeds and monitoring their land. They are also using them to collect aerial images.
“They can creates those (images) into maps and check their crop health for irrigation and pest control,” Campbell said.
Farmers previously used airplanes, helicopters and satellites to get those images. Now, the same job can be completed at a lower cost with a higher resolution image.
The cost of a drone ranges from $1,600 to $10,000. Campbell says some can even be used for crop spraying. Those models cost about $15,000.
Some farmers are hiring companies to do the drone work for them while others are opting to become certified and are doing the flying themselves.
“All agriculture drone activity is considered commercial, and they need an FAA certification to do it,” Campbell said.
Campbell is a drone instructor and says there is growing need for pilots. For more information on drone piloting contact Campbell on his website at riverhawkdrones.com.