Drones could come to agriculture classes at Illinois college

MATTOON, Ill. (AP) — Officials at a Central Illinois community college are considering using drones in agricultural classes. The chairman of Lake Land College’s agricultural department tells the Mattoon Journal-Gazette that the department wants to experiment with drones. He says students are curious how they might be useful in their careers. The college began using a small quadcopter drone last spring, when it took photos and video of campus. Advocates of drone use in the agricultural industry say it would make farming more efficient, allowing farmers to more easily observe huge fields and spot problems. Lower costs could be passed on to consumers. The Federal Aviation Administration has long been working on regulations for commercial drone uses. Last month the FAA issued the first permit for agricultural use of unmanned aerial vehicles to an Idaho business.