While test site pilots must adhere to strict flight guidelines, private operators may not be familiar with such safety standards. Consequently, aerial crop sprayers fear that they may collide with a drone. In response to that fear, the North Dakota Agricultural Aviation Association is requesting that farmers notify any aerial crop sprayers in the vicinity before they deploy a UAS.
In addition to the risk of collision, liability is a worry for aerial crop sprayers, as farm insurance policies typically exclude any aircraft operation coverage.
Besides wanting notification from farmers prior to UAS operations, crop sprayers would like the aircraft to be painted a conspicuous color and equipped with a strobe light. Another suggestion is to issue licenses for UAS.
North Dakota Agricultural Commissioner Doug Goehring believes that based upon conversations with UAS retailers, between 120 and 180 drones have been sold to private customers in North Dakota and western Minnesota.
The full Bismarck Tribune article is available here.