FRESNO (CBS/AP) — A drone large enough to carry tanks of fertilizers and pesticides has won rare approval from federal authorities to spray crops in the United States.
Steve Markofski of Yamaha Corp. U.S.A. said Tuesday that the Federal Aviation Administration’s approval is a first. He says drones are already used to take pictures to help farmers identify unhealthy patches of crops, but this is the first time they’ll be able to carry a payload.READ MORE: Scotts Valley Neighborhood Lockdown Ends; Suspect Fired Shots At CHP Officer
Markofski says Yamaha’s 207-pound (94-kilogram) RMAX looks like a small helicopter and is remotely piloted. It received FAA approval Friday.READ MORE: Three Injured In San Jose Stabbing; Suspect Remains At Large
Markofski says farmers in Japan and other countries have used the large drone for years.
University of California, Davis, professor Ken Giles says it’s best suited for precision spraying on California’s rolling vineyards and hard-to-reach places.MORE NEWS: San Jose Becomes First City In Nation To Require Gun Liability Insurance
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