Drones have a future in agriculture - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Drones have a future in agriculture

MOULTRIE, GA (WALB) -  Visitors to the Sunbelt Ag Expo are checking out hundreds of exhibits, ut some sure are grabbing a lot of attention. They're showing off drones and showing how they could change how farmers do their jobs.

You can walk around many of the exhibits at the Expo the past two days, and new improved technology is a staple at many of the exhibits, but people who walk by the drone exhibits are stopping for just a little bit longer.

These low-flying, futuristic drones could change the farming industry, and for Cliff Whitney, it's easy to understand why.

"You can see so much more from 100 feet than you can sitting in the tractor or even walking the farm," said Whitney, owner of UAV Experts Aero.

A good product can cost between $2,000 and $6,000, but the devices can detect soil moisture levels, areas of bug infestation, and even tell you where you need or don't need fertilizer.

"Our farmers around the U.S. feed the world so anything we can do to improve their yields to get them more profitable, make their costs lower is good," said Whitney.

The cameras also have technology that helps farmers get rid of wild animals that destroy their crops.

"We were able to use our infrared technology and fly out and find out there were wild hogs coming out and tearing up his corn crops at night and then they were able to trap those jogs," said Whitney.

Whitney says farmers can draw out a path on their computers for the drones to fly, and they can watch the video while the camera flies the field.

It also comes back at the touch of a button. "At any point during the flight, I can flip a switch on the transmitter. The system will return back home when it lands and it will land," said Whitney.

It's a long way to have come, in just three short years. The drones and other new equipment can be found in the long "Monsanto" building near the State Spotlight building. Thursday is your last day to come and check everything out.



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