STATELINE NEWS -- The U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates that more than one-quarter -- or 500,000-plus of the nation’s 2 million farmers -- will retire during the next decade, but the decision can be fraught with difficult financial and emotional issues.
“For so many farm families, home is a part of their business. You can retire from a job in town, but you’re not asked to leave your home,” said Joy Kirkpatrick, outreach specialist with the University of Wisconsin Center for Dairy Profitability in Madison. “With farming a lot of times, you’ll see an older generation as they age go from dairy to beef cattle, or get rid of their livestock entirely, or maybe crop for a while and then rent out the land to neighboring farmers.
WALWORTH COUNTY SUNDAY -- After walking through hundreds of acres of farm fields as crop scouts for four years, Zachary and Mitch Fiene knew there had to be a better way.
The cousins figured that crop conditions could be viewed better from the sky and started DMZ Aerial, which provides unmanned aerial vehicles for the agriculture industry. The vehicles are drone planes with a camera attached to them. The camera takes aerial photographs of crops to detect potential problems.
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