Pendleton’s ‘drone rodeo’ will showcase ag technology

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PENDLETON, Ore. (AP) _ The Pendleton Round-Up won’t be the only rodeo in the Eastern Oregon city this summer.

The Capital Press reports (http://bit.ly/2b6IhpF ) a “drone rodeo” will be held next week at the Pendleton Airport.

The event is aimed at farmers, and will include flight and data-downloading demonstrations of various types of unmanned vehicles. In other words, the drones won’t be doing any calf roping.

The Pendleton Airport is a testing site for commercial drones and has become a focus of the city’s economic development efforts.

With agriculture likely to become one of the first commercial adopters of the technology, airport director Steve Chrisman says drone and high-tech ag companies are attracted to the region’s open space and variety of crops.

Equipped with cameras or other sensors, drones could spot irrigation or pest problems, estimate yield and do other chores.

Admission to the event is free but registration is required.

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