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Farming Takes Flight: Drones Save IL Farmers Time and Money

(Undated) -- Farming is taking flight in Illinois. Researchers say interest is growing in the use of drones in agriculture, and that the unmanned aerial vehicles can give farmers a bird’s eye view of their fields. Crop sciences educator with the University of Illinois Extension Dennis Bowman is using two drones to take aerial snapshots of crops in the research plots on the university’s South Farms. He says it offers a quick and easy way to check on the plants' progress and determine if they need more attention. Bowman says his drones have computers similar to those used in smartphones and can make flights of about 10 to 15 minutes. He adds while the standard pictures and video are very helpful, they are looking to use imagery in other wavelengths, such as near-infrared, to identify areas of crop stress.

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