With ever-more inventive uses, drones have become popular in a variety of industries. As farmers begin to find agricultural uses for these unmanned aerial vehicles, should Agricultural Motor Traders be moving into drones and data?
Why might farm businesses want to invest in this new technology?
- Multiple uses
Whatever a client’s farm focuses on, there is a drone out there to help. Equipped with cameras, sensors and software, they can collect image data, track livestock, scout fields, soil and crops and check the size and health of plants.
- Flexible flight
Drones and other unmanned aerial machines can continually navigate through farms. Controlled by remote systems, farmers can create flight plans and establish an area to survey, at any time of day and without relying on labour. Images can be geo-tagged, and the performance of manned equipment such as seeders and combines can be assessed.
- More informed farming
High-precision information captured from the air offers an efficient way for farmers to observe, measure and respond to real-time information. For example, drones can measure the distance between crops with ultrasonic echoing, scan the ground, and spray crops efficiently, improving crop health and helping gain maximum yield.
What to consider before selling drones…
- Are farms ready?
Though this technology could be really useful for farms, is the UK agricultural industry ready for a data revolution? As well as posing a one-off investment, further education may be needed for farmers to use the equipment effectively and safely, and for Agricultural Motor Traders to accurately inform buyers about the technology.
- Rules and regulations
Before investing in an agricultural drone, users should get to grips with legal advice. For example, drones flying or hovering over a neighbouring landowners’ property without permission could be argued as trespass, or invasion of airspace. If it were to crash or cause damage to another landowners’ property, owners could be liable. The Civil Aviation Authority has published regulations for the commercial operation of small unmanned aircraft.
- Advice for Agricultural Motor Traders
Research and regulations around new technologies are expected to shift as more agricultural businesses adopt drones. If you are selling or repairing farm drones, ensure your activities are covered with advice from McClarrons’ rural insurance specialists.
McClarrons offers specialist cover under our AgriTrade policy. This policy has been built specifically for Agricultural Motor Traders to cover all the unique risks these businesses face. If you would like us to carry out a review of your insurance, contact us here or by calling 01653 697055.