University uses drones for farm research - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

University uses drones for farm research

CAPE GIRARDEAU COUNTY, MO (KFVS) -

New technology meets age old industry as the Southeast Missouri State University Agriculture Department introduces its new drone.

Dr. Indi Braden, a professor at Southeast, is fully implement the drone during her fall semester classes.

"I wanted the opportunity to get spatial camera images," Braden said.

She said the new technology will make it possible for her and her to do what used to take hours just minutes.

"Instead of somebody having to go in the middle of July or August when it's hot and steamy and nobody wants to out in the middle of the cornfield, you can send this out and get some big pictures of what's going on."

Braden said her research team can then use those pictures to spot problem areas within the crops.

Southeast is just the second university in Missouri to use drones as a teaching tool.

Missouri is one of the few states with laws outlining how drones caused be used.

The debate continues on practicality versus privacy.

"If they're using for the right thing I don't see why there's a problem with it," said Cape resident Carol Coomer.

Other think looser restrictions on drone use could make a difference.

"I look at it like this, if you got something to hide you shouldn't be doing it in the first place," said Cape resident Mike Stone.

The Federal Aviation Administration limits how high drones can fly. Even at those heights cameras can capture images hundreds of acres wide.

For the Southeast team, it's the green acres their interested in.

"If we take those images and start seeing what differences we can make in a year, you can make a difference," Braden.

Copyright 2014 KFVS. All rights reserved.

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