San Jose Mercury News - Technology


FARMERS' EYE IN THE SKY

San Jose Mercury News - Technology

About 2,100 companies and individuals have federal permission to fly drones for farming, according to the drone industry's Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International. Federal regulators planned to relax the rules Monday on commercial drones, a move that could spur even greater use of such aircraft on farms. The rule change and emerging technology could make drones more attractive tools for farmers, said Brandon Stark, director of the University of California's Center of Excellence for Unmanned Aircraft Systems Safety, based at the Merced campus. However, he said that until federal regulators clarify parts of the new rules, commercial drones must continue to fly below 400 feet, limiting their use on very large fields.