- Associated Press - Monday, January 12, 2015

BLACKVILLE, S.C. (AP) - A researcher from Clemson University has permission from the Federal Aviation Administration to use a drone in agricultural research in Barnwell County.

The university announced Monday that Joe Mari Maja, a researcher at Clemson’s Edisto Research and Education Center in Blackville, will use the drone to monitor crop health.

The drone can increase productivity by letting farmers know exactly where to water, fertilize or spray crops.

Maja says that the unmanned aircraft will be able to analyze a 10-acre field in less than five minutes. He says it would take a person on the ground days to complete a similar assessment.

Maja is developing sensors that can immediately transmit crop data gathered by the drone to farmers through such things as smart eyeglasses.

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