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 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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