With the big combine and grain bins, don't leave out the drone – technically, an “unmanned aerial vehicle.” A manufacturer showing his flying wares at the Farm Progress Show in Decatur says it's going to be a must-have item for many farmers.
"The folks that are still driving a tractor without a GPS, they don't understand this technology, and they're, frankly, not our potential customer,” said Bret Chilcott, president of the Kansas-based Ag Eagle, which he started three years ago. “But those people that have invested heavily in precision ag, they understand the benefits, and this is just another tool to use in precision ag."
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The UAV works on the farm to create a precision map of the crops. Chilcott, with a background in composite parts for the trucking and aerospace industries, says his rig retails for about $15,000. With eleven employees, he says Ag Eagle has dealers worldwide.