Transportation Department calls for drone registration

The U.S. Department of Transportation said Monday that unmanned aerial systems (UAS), also known as drones, must be registered with the government by their recreational owners.

The Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International said that approximately 80 percent of all commercial drone use is in some way related to the agricultural field. Growers use unmanned aerial systems for crop scouting; early detection of pest infestations and crop disease; more precise application of fertilizers and other crop inputs; and accomplishing tasks that would otherwise be seen as dangerous if humans were needed to accomplish the task.

“As with any technology, unmanned aerial systems will make our farms safer, more efficient and more environmentally friendly," the National Corn Growers Association’s President Chip Bowling said, "That’s good for farmers, good for consumers and good for the environment. We support reasonable rules and regulations to govern UAS technology. Most farmers who use a drone will do so over open cropland in rural areas, far away from airports or large population centers. We hope the Federal Aviation Administration will recognize the important commercial applications of UAS technology and create rules that will put the technology in farmers’ hands.”

Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said Monday the government hopes to have a system in place for new drone buyers before Christmas. Existing drone owners would be given a yet-to-be-determined grace period.

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National Corn Growers Association 632 Cepi Drive Chesterfield, MO - 63005

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