Ohio Farm Science Review Out of this World!

Specialists will discuss how military drones could help agriculture.

Published on: Sep 17, 2012

The Ohio Farm Science Review kicks off Tuesday, Sept. 18 and runs through Thursday, Sept. 20, at the Molly Caren farm operated by Ohio State University. The farm show site is just off I-70 near London, Ohio.

One of the interesting aspects of this year's show is that Ohio State specialists will discuss how drones could integrate into the world of agriculture. Developed for the military, these unmanned vehicles have been used for tactical maneuvers thought too dangerous for military personnel. They are airborne objects that enter into aviation airspace.

The fact that there are dangerous jobs in agriculture goes without question. However, specialists see the first use for these drones to do jobs like grab pictures of crop fields and deliver information related to the weather and weather events. The work is preliminary, but the specialists believe there is enough potential to test these drones for agricultural applications. They could fit well with the continuing move toward more accurate GPS and precision farming.

NEW CONCEPTS: Check out the Farm Science Review this week near Columbus, Ohio. (Photo courtesy FSR)
NEW CONCEPTS: Check out the Farm Science Review this week near Columbus, Ohio. (Photo courtesy FSR)

Since the drones enter air space, they are regulated. So far no one but the military has the ability to actually use the drones on missions, or to fly them into air space. However, some universities are seeking special permission from federal authorities to work with the drones in air space.  If granted, it would be for test programs to see how these drones might work in agriculture, and if there would be any negatives to using them in agricultural work.

Ohio State University hopes to be involved in testing new uses for these drones. One use may be to gather data on locations of hazardous waste sites. The beauty of the drones is that they can fly and take pictures without having anyone aboard. Most of them are small in size.

This is just one of the new concepts that will be featured this week. Cost to attend the show is $8 per adult with children 5 and under free. Those with access to an Ohio State University Extension office can purchase pre-sale tickets for $5.