Many farmers already using unmanned aerial systems

Within the next four to five years, farmers will likely be using unmanned aerial systems for tasks from monitoring plant emergence and insect damage to counting cattle.

John Nowatzki, an ag machine systems specialist with North Dakota State Extension, spent the summer testing UAS for agricultural use.

“We hope to be able to use a thermal sensor, fly over a herd of cattle, find out, for example, which animals have a fever so you would know potentially which animals are getting sick before you could walk out in the herd and say well that one is not getting up,” he said.

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