A new age of "precision farming" could be near for America's 2 million farms.
Farmers around the world are already experiencing the benefits of using small commercial drones to gather data and make real-time decisions.
But this breakthrough is awaiting formal approval from the FAA, which is has yet to issue guidelines for regulating commercial drones and integrating them into the national airspace. As part of its information-gathering process, FAA-approved studies of agricultural drones are taking place across the country. Among them is a partnership between North Carolina State University and Toronto-based drone-maker Precisionhawk.
"What the modern farmer wants is to manage productivity. He wants to be more efficient. He wants to be more effective," Gary Roberson, a professor at North Carolina State University, tells Business Insider. "The days of keeping records on the dashboard of the truck are long gone."
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