TOWN OF SUN
PRAIRIE — Drones are attracting droves of visitors at
Wisconsin Farm Technology Days, as many of the devices have
been seen hovering around their exhibitors.
every type and brand of farm machinery is showcased at the
70-acre site on the Statz Bros. dairy operation in the town
of Sun Prairie. But the two drone exhibitors at the
agricultural show drew some of the biggest crowds on
Tuesday, the first day of the three-day event.
the two-drone packages sold by DMZ Aerial, based in Prairie
du Sac, has grown between 25 and 50 percent compared to last
year's show in Portage County, co-owner Mitchell Fiene
had no down time today," he said of the crowd drawn to
his company's drones on Tuesday. "Last year we had time
to get water or grab some lunch. Not this year."
sold by DMZ Aerial cost $3,500 and $5,000. Some of the
company's competitors sell the devices for up to 10 times
that much, Fiene said.
use drones to check their field for evidence of disease,
nutrient deficiencies or insect problems, among other
things. The devices are easy to use and can be programmed to
take photos of an entire field, which can then be analyzed
by software or by an agronomist, the Wisconsin State Journal
Farm Technology Days, retailers were the primary drone
buyers, but farmers and representatives from cooperatives
and crop consulting firms have become more interested in the
devices since the Federal Aviation Administration started
permitting businesses last year to fly them commercially on
a case-by-case basis, Fiene said.
years to come, agricultural drones will be larger,
increasing the range from one to two farm fields to an
entire county, and come with additional functions, such as
mapping, he said.
Federal Aviation Administration drops more restrictions on
the commercial use of drones, Fiene expects more companies
will build and sell the devices.
there will be a lot more buyers," he said.