May 30, 2024

Taylor Daily Press

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US bans Chinese agricultural drones

US bans Chinese agricultural drones

A drone by American drone manufacturer Helio. Fears that U.S. farmers could inadvertently share vital information about the location and health of U.S. crops with China, warns agricultural drone expert Arthur Erickson, CEO of Hylio. – Photo: Hylio

Drones are rapidly gaining popularity in American agriculture, but the consequences can be serious if agricultural drones fall into the wrong hands. US drone companies warn of safety risks from over-reliance on Chinese technology, US website reports AgTechNavigator.

The drone company estimates that about 4,000 to 5,000 agricultural drones have been imported from China to the United States to spray agricultural crops. Guardian AG. However, 99% of these drones in the US are made in China, mainly by Chinese manufacturers DJI and XAG. According to the Guardian Age, China has dominated the market for small drones through targeted investments and subsidies from the Chinese government, which have driven many US companies into bankruptcy.

The US government is now sufficiently aware of how far behind the US is in the production of commercial drones. A new law, the US Defense Drone Act, has banned the use of Chinese drones since January. Also, the US Department of Defense has introduced a procurement program called the Replicator to boost US drone production. These steps will help level the playing field again.

Concerns over sharing sensitive information with China

Farmers in America are now starting their spring work. Fertilizers and herbicides are rapidly distributed using spray drones. There are fears that some farmers could inadvertently share sensitive information about the location and health of US crops with China, warns Arthur Erickson, CEO of US drone maker Helio. Erickson urges farmers to buy US-made drones designed for farm equipment This means their data is completely safe.

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In January 2024, the U.S. The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Agency and the Federal Bureau of Investigation also warned that “the use of Chinese-made drones in critical infrastructure engagements could expose sensitive information to PRC authorities.”

Author: Ed Asseman

Also Read: A Tour of New Spraying Drones at Agritechnica 2023

Related Tags:
Autonomous, precision agriculture, spray drones