Drones eyed to aid farmers on East End

A drone large enough to carry tanks of fertilizers and pesticides has won approval from federal authorities to spray crops in the United States.

A drone large enough to carry tanks of fertilizers and pesticides has won approval from federal authorities to spray crops in the United States. (5/8/15)

RIVERHEAD - A drone large enough to carry tanks of fertilizers and pesticides has won approval from federal authorities to spray crops in the United States.

Third-generation Long Island farmer Phil Schmitt says East End farmers may have trouble affording a drone. He said that most would rather stick to the tried-and-true methods of growing their crops.

“I’m always open to new ideas,” he said though.

Some Long Island environmentalists expressed concern despite how precise the drones are.

“Anything you release into the air gets into the air - that’s a problem,” says Dick Amper, of the Pine Barrens Society. “And there is no licensing for these people to pilot those things. One of these things crashes, you've got pesticides in someone’s yard.”

AP Wires contributed to this report.

 

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