Agricultural Insurance is a -- Wait for it -- Risky Business.

By Ken Briodagh April 23, 2015

To help alleviate the risks, ADM Crop Risk Services (ADM CRS) applied for permission from the FAA to fly drones over insured fields to check for damage and improve claim processing. That application was approved by the administration on April 22.

“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. “Now, we are setting our sights even higher, with UAV plans and technology that are significantly ahead of the rest of the industry.”

The company’s UAV technology includes the software to integrate the drones in its Aeros suite of claims software and makes it easier to locate and calculate crop damage and transfer that information into a claim, so customers can get payments faster. That’s critical to a farmer that has suffered a loss.

The holdup has been that the FAA does not typically allow private firms to operate drones in commercial airspace, unless given an express

Image via Flickr

variance. Now that it has one, the company plans to have UAVs in the air by 2016. The system will be rolled out to customers in the Midwest first, followed by other regions.

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 and acreage without crop vegetation. The drones will be automated and able to take off, make measurements and land by themselves, using proprietary software that enables them to automatically download measurements and information as images are taken. This process streamlines the system so that data analysis and claims processing can begin almost immediately.

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

Freedom brings opportunity, opportunity brings freedom. Let’s see what this brings.

Edited by Maurice Nagle

Edited by Ken Briodagh
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