Navajo Nation plans to use drone to monitor crops

October 12, 2012 • State News

FARMINGTON, N.M. (AP) — The Navajo Nation’s farming enterprise plans to buy an unmanned aircraft as soon as next summer to help monitor its [auth] crops.

The drone would be used to watch for changes in crops grown by the Navajo Agricultural Products Industry. CEO Tsosie (SOH’-see) Lewis tells the Farmington Daily Times ( ) for a Thursday story it would replace a contractor’s manned plane flyovers and be cheaper.

The Navajo farming operation grows potatoes, alfalfa, pinto beans, corn and winter wheat on 72,000 acres of farmland south of Farmington.

The tribe-owned enterprise is aggressively seeking to expand the market for its “Navajo Pride” products.

It generates $400 million in annual revenue, and employs more than 400 people.

The drones will help spot crop problems early and allow adjustments to watering to fertilizer.

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