Wednesday, October 28, 2015

US House Ag Committee Holds Hearings on Farm Data

The US House of Representatives Agricultural Committee will hold hearings today on Big Data and Agriculture: Innovations and Implications.  You can watch on YouTube (link below).  I think Congressional intervention at this time could stifle innovation of what is a relatively young industry, but I'm glad to see Congress looking into the issues associated with farm data privacy, transfer, use and control. 

Friday, October 16, 2015

How VW's Diesel Engine Debacle Will Impact Farmers

Volkswagen (VW) has been in the news lately after university researchers discovered its "clean diesel" emissions were as much as 40 times higher than EPA regulations allowed. VW apparently programmed its engine control unit (ECU) software to run on a more efficient setting—meeting EPA emission standards—while undergoing testing. But in normal use the software runs a different setting, boosting performance at the expense of emissions. The scandal caused the CEO to promptly resign, but the fallout is hardly over.  What will this mean to agriculture?

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

FAA Issues $1.9 Million Fine to Drone Operator

On October 6, 2015 the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) issued an enforcement letter to SkyPan International, Inc. assessing a $1.9 million dollar civil penalty for flying unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) without permission. The FAA has fined drone operators for unlawful flights in the past, but this is by far the largest civil penalty to date. This should be a reminder to unauthorized drone pilots that flying commercial UAVs is still illegal and carries great risk in the United States.