Oregon Startup To Begin Testing Potato Drones

Drones,Potato Drones, Paradigm,Oregon Startup,startup,startup newsDrones are a hot button discussion these days. Most of the talk has been about non-manned aircraft used for military and surveillance. An Oregon startup called Paradigm in conjunction with Boeing and Oregon State University are preparing to start test flights of Potato Drones.

The Federal Aviation Administration has authorized the use of two remote-controlled aircrafts which will monitor potato fields in Eastern Oregon.

Komonews reports that the drones are about the size of a suitcase and equipped with cameras that can zoom in on a single leaf plant. The drones are expected to be able to determine if the plants are getting enough water and fertilizer. If they aren’t, they will alert the farmers who can take immediate corrective action.

The use of drones is a lot quicker and the technology makes it much easier to see, verses the old fashioned way of walking through the crops to spot plants that need fixing.

The Potato Drones will fly over fields at the Hermiston Agricultural Research Extension Center and also at a private farm west of Boardman Oregon. The group picked potatoes because they are expensive and difficult to grow. Phil Hamm the director of the research extension center said that potatoes cost about $500,000 for the average crop circle.

Trial flights are expected to start Monday weather permitting.

Here are more Oregon startup stories at nibletz the voice of startups everywhere else.