Monday, August 2, 2021


Hundreds of thousands of Medi-Cal recipients are paying monthly premiums when they donít have to; Dr. Fauci predicts the pandemic will get worse.


The Texas voting rights fight gets star power; lawmakers stage a sit-in as the eviction moratorium expires; and Senators work overtime on infrastructure.

Farming Takes Flight: Drones Save IL Farmers Time and Money


Monday, July 21, 2014   

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – Farming is taking flight in Illinois.

Researchers say interest is growing in the use of drones in agriculture, and that the unmanned aerial vehicles can give farmers a bird's eye view of their fields.

Dennis Bowman, a crop sciences educator with the University of Illinois Extension, is using two drones to take aerial snapshots of crops in the research plots on the university's South Farms.

He says it offers a quick and easy way to check on the plants' progress and determine if they need more attention.

"It does allow the opportunity to get an overall survey of the area and make a better use of your time, rather than just walking out blindly into a field of corn that's taller than your head, and hoping that you stumble across any of the problem areas that might be out there," he explains.

Bowman says his drones have computers similar to those used in smartphones and can make flights of about 10 to 15 minutes.

He adds while the standard pictures and video are very helpful, researchers are looking to use imagery in other wavelengths, such as near-infrared, to identify areas of crop stress.

Bowman says the agriculture industry is expected to be one of the largest markets for drone usage.

He says he knows some people have concerns about their use, but he feels the technology is beneficial and can ultimately save farmers time and money.

"People think about drones and a lot of times, the negative connotations come to mind, privacy issues and those kinds of things,” he says. “But in the agricultural community, we're out in the middle of nowhere most of the time, flying them over fields of crops."

There are restrictions on commercial use of unmanned aerial vehicles, but the Federal Aviation Administration is expected to release new policies by next year that would enable businesses to incorporate drones into their operations.

The cost of the drones used in farming can range from a few hundred dollars to thousands, depending on the technology.

Bowman says he's hopeful that with more interest in drones, prices will drop in the future.

get more stories like this via email

Some tenants' advocates would like Virginia's new budget proposal for American Rescue Plan funding to include money for low-income renters to hire lawyers for eviction cases. (Adobe stock)

Social Issues

RICHMOND, Va. - Virginia's General Assembly Special Session begins today to budget more than $4 billion in federal COVID relief funds, and advocates …

Social Issues

ROSLINDALE, Mass. - A new report finds Massachusetts residents would rather repair electronic devices than send them to landfills, but manufacturers …

Social Issues

DENVER-During the COVID health emergency, the federal government made school meals available for free to all students, regardless of their financial …

The Blackfeet Reservation is one of seven tribal reservations in Montana. (Kushnirov Avraham/Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

HELENA, Mont. - COVID-19 is underscoring the importance of ensuring that people's estates are in order, but estate planning can be be tricky for …

Social Issues

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - Pandemic fallout still has U.S. states clawing their way back to normalcy, and New Mexico believes its decision to provide more …

In a new poll, 64% of New Hampshire voters said they think capital gains should be taxed at the same rate as income from wages; 56% support increasing the corporate tax rate to 28%. (Vitalii Vodolazskyi/Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

CONCORD, N.H. - New polling finds many New Hampshire voters think it's important that wealthy individuals and corporations pay what's described as …

Social Issues

AMARILLO, Texas - The American Farm Bureau Federation hosts more than 100 college level chapters across 35 states, but this is the first time its …

Social Issues

ELIZABETH CITY, N.C. - As activists mark more than 100 days of protest since the April 21 death of Andrew Brown Junior - killed outside his Elizabeth …


Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright © 2021