The Attack of Drones was one of the articles Indianapolis attorney Todd Janzen addressed on his blog in 2013. He predicts it will be an issue for farmers to watch in the New Year too. Janzen tells HAT drone usage probably represents both concerns and opportunities for agriculture.
“It’s definitely an opportunity,” he said. “The future is pretty exciting when you think about all the possibilities for agriculture with respect to drones. But of course along with that comes concerns about whether or not government agencies will use drones to monitor crops or look for water quality violations, but at least for right now the discussion about drones is going to come later because FAA has not yet approved drones for commercial use. So we’re still waiting to see how FFA is going to permit them before we can really dig in deeper.”
High on the Janzen regulatory radar in 2014 are both the Clean Air Act and the Clean Water Act.
“These are both federal statutes but states typically implement these through various programs. On the Clean Water Act we’re looking to see if the model that EPA has applied in the Chesapeake Bay area is going to be applied in the Mississippi River. So far it hasn’t but we’re always concerned about that. the Clean Air Act is another area where we’re starting to see the EPA and state agencies look and see if there are items on farms that may be regulated under the act.”
Large grain dryers and anaerobic digesters will be where the agency turns its attention under the umbrella of the Clean Air Act.
Janzen adds farmers don’t always pay close attention to such issues until they get a notice from a regulator, “but you should.”