Farmers have been urged to familiarise themselves with the rules surrounding the commercial use of drones.
NFU Mutual says failure to understand the rules could result in farmers facing fines running into thousands of pounds.
“As the potential for drones to be used for more tasks in modern agriculture increases, we are getting many enquiries from farmers about insurance and their legal position,” said NFU Mutual farm technology specialist, Charlie Yorke.
“It’s worrying that some farmers buying a drone don’t realise that there are laws which have to be observed when flying them. This includes specific insurance cover, and consideration when they are receiving money for flying their drone as a service to other farmers.”
He said instances where a farmer is using a drone to survey their own crops would be classed as non-recreational flight, and require insurance to cover third party liability risks.
“However, if the farmer charged his neighbour to survey his neighbour’s crops, then this would be classed as a commercial operation and the relevant permission and commercial insurance is required,” added Mr Yorke.