Under relaxed FAA regulations released in June and set to go in effect Aug. 29, farmers from across the nation will be able to legally take their field scouting to the sky, opening wide a multibillion-dollar agricultural market that, according to the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems, could account for 80 percent of all drone use…
Under the new rules, drone operators will be able to obtain certification for commercial use via a written test and vetting by the Transportation Security Administration. Use will be limited to drones that are under 55 pounds and flying below speeds of 100 mph. They also must be kept within line of sight and can’t be flown over people, two restrictions that don’t work well for growers wanting to scout large stretches of acreage where there may be farm laborers at work.
But agriculture industry representatives said the new regulations put valuable technology in reach for farmers or ranchers who don’t have a pilot’s license, which is needed to get a “Section 333” waiver to fly unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) or unmanned aircraft systems (UASs).
“There was only one game in town and that was that Section 333 waiver. So any farmers who were interested in utilizing this technology, using UAVs, drones, UAS, all the names we like to call them … they had to go through this burdensome bureaucratic waiver process,” said R. J. Karney, director of congressional relations for the American Farm Bureau Federation. “It’s a great initial step. It’s really going to allow farmers to utilize an emerging technology that’s going to give farmers that new tool in the tool box that they can use for their precision agriculture techniques. That’s an exciting opportunity.”
Adafruit has had paid day off for voting for our team for years, if you need help getting that going for your organization, let us know – we can share how and why we did this as well as the good results. Here are some resources for voting by mail, voting in person, and some NY resources for our NY based teams as well. If there are additional resources to add, please let us know – adafruit.com/vote
Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.