Costs of Using Unmanned Aircraft on Crop Farms
Excitement is high about the potential uses of unmanned aerial systems (UAS) in agriculture. We budgeted the costs of high-yield, non-irrigated corn production on two fields on a “representative” farm located in Northeastern Kansas. One complete pass over each field was completed. The representative farm will use a manned aerial system (MAS) or UAS and visual inspection and soil/tissue tests to determine whether and where a nitrogen deficiency is occurring. Our analysis suggests that UAS is less costly than MAS. The authors expect the costs of UAS and MAS to decrease in the future.