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Drones May Take Off With Interest In 'Precision Ag'

In McMinnville, the Evergreen Air and Space Museum is playing host to the first-ever Oregon Precision Farming Expo.

Exhibitors speak with attendees at the Oregon Precision Farming Expo

Exhibitors speak with attendees at the Oregon Precision Farming Expo

The event is drawing primarily farmers who are interested in using unmanned drones to optimize their production.

If you’ve never heard of “precision ag”, you might think of it as the science of putting just the right amount of stuff, whether that’s water or fertilizer, in just the right place, at just the right time and in just the right amount.

For farmers, precision ag holds the promise of better yields, better quality and money saved.  

For the UAV industry, it represents a potentially huge new market, now that the FAA is incorporating drones into the national airspace.

That’s one of the reasons Yamhill County is sponsoring this event. The county entered into an agreement last month with the operators of the recently approved FAA drone test range in Tillamook.

County leaders say if all goes according to plan, drones could be flying over the fertile fields of the Willamette Valley within a year or two.

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