McCann, of Lawrence County, is president of the Missouri Cattlemen’s Association and was among more than 100 farmers who attended the 90th annual Lawrence County Soils and Crops Conference on Thursday. Along with the usual topics — efficiently feeding hay, using cover crops, etc. — was a discussion on how unmanned airplanes, sometimes called drones, could benefit agriculture. It was led by Bill Wiebold, who when he is not piloting the small planes is the state soybean specialist with University of Missouri Extension.
Wiebold brought two planes, discussed how they operate and the legalities that come with using them.
“I really think there’s a lot of opportunity with these things we’re going to talk about,” said Wiebold, who also said at first that he was hesitant to call them “drones” because of possible negative connotations.
Wiebold said each farmer would have their own reasons for wanting to use a drone, which costs about $1,000 plus $300 for a camera. McCann, who has about 500 head of cattle, said they would be a “wonderful time saver,” especially during inclement weather. … (Read more)