An unmanned aerial vehicle conference is underway this week in Reno. Among the many possibilities it’s addressing is the use of drones to help farmers in the drought.
More than 500 people are attending the first American Society for Photogramatic and Remote Sensing conference. Unmanned aircraft can either be remote-controlled by a human or programmed before flight to perform autonomously.
One drone mounted on a pole above the conference crowd uses GPS, lasers and thermal imaging to track people and map the room. The Association says farmer interest in drones has increased because of the drought. Andy Trench, CEO of drone developer Xactsense, says farmers can use the aircraft to monitor crop health, conserve resources and even treat crops.
“Being able to spray pesticides or water to areas of a crop instead of blanket spraying has many benefits.”
Trench says drones can be programmed to perform automatically and report the results back to a farmer.