The use of unmanned aerial vehicles, or drones, is the subject of much debate, but those remote-control flying robot-cameras may be the wave of the future — for farmers. Craig Hill, a farmer in Milo and president of the Iowa Farm Bureau, predicts the use of emerging technologies that give a farmer a full-color perspective on his fields from far above will prove quite successful for agriculture in the years ahead.
“Eighty-percent of the use of drones in America will be for agriculture,” Hill says. “This will be a big feature and it actually could be an economic driver in agriculture, both in the services provided and in increased productivity.”
Drones were a topic of conversation at last weekend’s third annual Iowa Farm Bureau economic summit, held in Ames.
Hill says another topic was farmland values and how fast they’ve been rising for years. “We have seen about a 345-percent increase in land values over the last decade,” Hill says. “That was not sustainable in the future. Any asset class would have difficulty appreciating by that amount and not having a setback or a period of more stable growth.” He says most of those who attended the summit believe ag land values will stabilize in the future.
(Reporting by Jerry Oster, WNAX, Yankton)