Regulations for use of drone aircraft "are significantly lagging the pace of innovation," says a Brookings Institution blog post. The writers point to reports of misuse of drones, from smuggling drugs to interfering with firefighters, and say that "we are living in the proverbial wild West."
Drone aircraft are a natural fit for data-hungry precision agriculture, helping growers fine-tune their operations and maximize income, says private consulting group Informa, which estimates the gains at $12 an acre for corn, $2.60 for soybeans and $2.25 for wheat.
The FAA's proposed rules for drones are too restrictive for them to live up the farmers' hopes to search for stray cattle or monitor trouble spots in crops, says Reuters.
The government unveiled a set of rules for non-recreational use of drone aircraft weighing less than 55 pounds, and said it would take public comment on the proposal for 60 days. The proposal advances the possibility of using drones in agriculture.
In a CNN interview, President Obama called for regulations for drones to ensure "that we get the good and minimize the bad." The president commented one day after a two-foot wide drone crashed on the White House grounds.
If Big Data was the topic du jour of the spring, drones are the buzz this summer. There have been regional sessions about them and the upcoming Dakotafest ag show will hold a day's worth of workshops on drones on Aug 20.