It is amazing how many people are against unmanned aerial vehicles. Because because the military uses drones to hunt down terrorists, and people are worried that some future "Skynet" which was depicted in Arnold Schwarzenegger's film "Terminator III" might be the death of us all. For the most part those fears are overblown, but we also need to realize that a foreign military might use drones against our people and citizens, not just the military defending our great nation sometimes in the future.
Others are concerned about privacy and all of these drones coming around and telling us about what we are doing, where we have massive government surveillance. Even if you do not feel that is a problem, which most Americans are not too worried about, those people that live in Malibu, the so-called "A-List" celebrities have already been harassed by unmanned drones with high definition cameras hovering above their patios getting a shot of them sunbathing on their own private deck – high-tech paparazzi. For them, it's just not funny anymore.
Neverheless, the commercial and business applications for unmanned aerial vehicles or UAVs, some call them drones, is almost limitless. Many of the farmers said they didnt want the EPA snooping around their farms trying to cite them with violations. Still, those same farmers are considering using the UAVs or drones themselves to help with their farming endeavors.
In fact, there was an interesting article in GizMag (dot) com published on Jun 23, 2013 titled; "UC Davis investigates using helicopter drones for crop dusting," by David Szondy.
As far as I am concerned using small UAVs for crop dusting makes perfect sense and is super smart, detailed crop dusting – each tree or bush individually assessed, this means only the exact amount of chemical used and only where it is needed, everyone wins, better costs, and safer food, plus fewer crashes, crop dusting is dangerous. So you see, using drones for crop dusting is a very wise choice. Further, there will be few aircraft flying at low altitude, which if a crash occurred it could damage or injure something on the ground. A small UAV just will not do that much damage.
Further, it can be flown from the farmer's property itself all within the boundaries of the land they already own. Also consider this, if a farmer used GPS-GIS software and mapping system, he could keep track of everything that's going on within his property at all times. Special sensors could detect increased levels of insect activity, root rot, fungus growth, or changes in leaf color indicating more fertilizer is needed, more bacteria for the soil is warranted, or the plants are getting enough water. Imagine the power of having that information in real-time using all those high-tech sensors, that could be a new billion dollar a year industry?
This could help us increase crop yields, save money, and cut down on pesticides – all of which is of benefit to our civilization and society as we work to feed the world as we approach 10 billion people on the planet by 2100. Please consider all this and think on it.