Munson Hybrids – a regional, family-owned seed company that serves farmers in Illinois, Iowa, Nebraska and Wisconsin – donated the DJI Spreading Wings S800 to the university to augment the role academia will play in UAV technology advancements.
The company says it has purchased two UAVs in the past year to better understand the emerging technology and how it can fit into its business and overall seed production.
‘The School of Ag recently received approval to hire a precision agriculture faculty member for fall 2015,’ says Andrew Baker, the School of Agriculture’s director. ‘Technology is a big part of production agriculture, as well as in the service-related sector of the industry, and we can see the UAV serving as a key piece in student projects, research and even service.
“This donation will help kick-start our new precision ag program and give our entire faculty a chance to put into practice ways to help Illinois farmers utilize UAV technology,’ he explains.
‘Munson is excited about how the UAV donation will help the next generation of ag professionals coming out of WIU, as well as how WIU can help farmers with the technology,’ adds John Hennenfent, president and CEO of Munson Hybrids. ‘UAVs have amazing potential in advancing agriculture, and a union like this amongst industry, academia and youth is always a positive outcome.’