ADM receives approval to use drones

by World Grain Staff
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CHICAGO, ILLINOIS, U.S. — ADM Crop Risk Services (ADM CRS) announced on April 22 that it has received regulatory approval from the Federal Aviation Administration to operate unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to expedite and improve claims processing.

“ADM is continuing to deliver on our commitment to create shareholder value, including by enhancing how we deliver products and services to our customers,” said Greg Mills, president, ADM CRS. “For years, ADM CRS has been leading the industry in developing new technologies to improve customer service and dramatically reduce the time to complete and pay out claims. Between apps like AerosExpress and a great team of people who are out there every day working to serve our customers, we are continuing to set the standard.

“Now, we are setting our sights even higher, with UAV plans and technology that are significantly ahead of the rest of the industry,” Mills said. “Our innovative UAV technology—which includes not only the vehicles, but the software to integrate them smoothly into our Aeros suite of claims software—allows us to locate and calculate crop damage and transfer that information into a claim quickly, accurately and efficiently, so our customers can get their payments faster than ever before. The FAA exemption means we are on track to have this technology in the air for our customers next year.”

ADM’s UAVs will be able to identify and measure:

• Damaged acres
• Corn stand counts
• Wind-blown or green snap acres
• Hail damage
• Prevented planting acreage/acreage without crop vegetation

The system will use state-of-the art vehicles and programming: UAVs will be highly automated, able to take off, make measurements and land by themselves. ADM is developing proprietary software that enables the vehicles to automatically download measurements and information as images are taken, allowing data analysis and claims processing to begin almost immediately.

ADM CRS will continue to develop and test the technology through the 2015 crop year, with a planned launch of the system for customers in 2016. The system will be rolled out to customers in the Midwest first, followed by other regions.

“We are tremendously excited to start showing this state-of-the-art system to our customers,” Mills added. “We’ll be offering something no one else in the industry can offer, and the farmers we serve will be the ones who benefit.”



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