CHICAGO, April 22, 2015 – Coming next year to a field near you: unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) that can scout your fields for damages and expedite potential crop insurance claims.

ADM Crop Risk Services announced today that it has received regulatory approval from the Federal Aviation Administration to operate unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) – commonly called drones – to expedite and improve claims processing. The FAA exemption puts the company on track to have this technology in the air for 2016 – starting in the Midwest.

Greg Mills, president of ADM CRS, said the firm’s plans for using UAVs and other technology places them “significantly ahead of the rest of the industry.”

“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,” Mills said.

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.

“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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