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The FAA, as it develops regulations for unmanned aircrafts in the complicated U.S. skies, is allowing drone flight in six locations including Genesee County.

Researchers with the Cornell Cooperative Extension are taking advantage of the opportunity to study agriculture with the eventual hope that farmers can use information to make management decisions.

“We are hoping to start to figure out what’s going to be relevant for farmers,” Bill Verbeten, Regional Extension Agronomist, NWNY Dairy, Livestock and Field Crops Team, said, “because this technology has lots of potential, but there are many things that need to be figured out.”

A drone will soon be flying over Batavia conducting research cautiously, though officials haven't say exactly when.

With the addition of different sensors, such as thermal or high-resolution to a drone, collected research can give farmers a more complete picture of their crop.

The commercial guidelines for drone technology are not expected until late 2015 and researchers hope to expand to 10 counties in that time because of the diversity of farms in the western New York region.

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