A drone built by Agribotix, a Boulder startup, flies over a farm in Weld County, Colo. The drone has a camera that snaps a high-resolution photo every two seconds. From there, Agribotix stitches the images together, helping the farmer see what’s happening in a field.

Luke Runyon/Harvest Public Media/KUNC

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A drone built by Agribotix, a Boulder startup, flies over a farm in Weld County, Colo. The drone has a camera that snaps a high-resolution photo every two seconds. From there, Agribotix stitches the images together, helping the farmer see what’s happening in a field.

Luke Runyon/Harvest Public Media/KUNC

Colorado is famous for its beer and its beef. But what about its farm drones? In the last several years, Boulder and Denver have become hubs for tech startups, and companies in the state’s Front Range are on a tear, patenting new technologies in irrigation, food science and plant genetics. Public scientists are keeping pace, publishing research articles in agricultural science in record numbers. That’s prompted local economists to make some bold predictions. “We’re poised, if we play our cards right, both as a state government, as a land grant institution [Colorado State University], as an industry, to become the Silicon Valley for agriculture in the 21st century,” says Greg Graff of Colorado State University. But at the first Colorado State University Agricultural Innovation Summit, held Mar. 18-20, Governor John Hickenlooper didn’t start by trumpeting the state’s farmers or scientists or entrepreneurs. He started instead by touting the accomplishments of a European country six times smaller than Colorado.

Jimmy Underhill, drone technician with Agribotix, prepares the drone’s control module at a farm in rural Weld County.

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Jimmy Underhill, drone technician with Agribotix, prepares the drone’s control module at a farm in rural Weld County.

Luke Runyon/Harvest Public Media/KUNC

“The Netherlands isn’t very big. And they don’t have a whole lot of people,” Hickenlooper said. But, he noted, the Dutch economy … – Click Here To Visit Article Source