WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Measure’s Vice President of Agriculture and farmer Robert Blair testified before the U.S. House Committee on Agriculture’s Subcommittee on General Farm Commodities and Risk Management as part of the “Big Data and Agriculture: Innovation in the Air” series of hearings. As the very first person to petition the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for permission to use an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), or drone, on a farm, Blair was able to provide insight to the committee on how data captured by UAVs can be used to benefit American farmers.
“Drones are immensely beneficial to help American farmers put food on their dinner table,” noted Blair. “With UAVs, it is possible for the agriculture industry to reduce water use, erosion, pesticide use, and nutrient applications while increasing crop quantity and quality.”
“Improving and innovating the agriculture industry cannot be done without the aid of Congress. A more efficient application process for flying in restricted areas, friendlier regulations that allow for UAV aerial application, and the incorporation of UAVs into the next Farm Bill will help farmers,” continued Blair.
“Agriculture has a tremendous challenge and responsibility of producing enough food to feed nine billion people by the year 2050, and doing so sustainably. The agriculture industry cannot do this alone, but by utilizing precision agriculture technologies, especially UAVs, those working and managing the land can be successful in this mountainous challenge.”
Read Blair’s full written testimony here.
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