Date of Award


Degree Type

Creative Project

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Applied Economics

Committee Chair(s)

Ryan Larsen (Committee Chair)


Ryan Larsen


Ryan Bosworth


Dillion Feuz


The purpose of this project is to conduct a cost-benefit analysis of implementing a UAV/drone technology within agricultural appraisals. This project is categorized into four categories; introduction, literature review, methodology, and conclusions. The methodology portion of the project is a capital budget analysis measuring the effectiveness of UAVs within the appraisal department. The capital budget will be further developed by conducting a Present Value (NPV) analysis. The NPV analysis consists of a five-year NPV analysis measuring changes in productivity and total revenue caused by UAV technology.

Results were found by using @Risk simulation to simulate data gathered during the project. Data was gathered by doing filed experiments on drone effectiveness during the appraisal process. The simulated data was incorporated into various budgets and used to create a five-year NPV analysis. Three separate scenarios were created, representing a Best-Case, Average-Case, and Worst-Case scenario. An NPV analysis was conducted for each of the three scenarios. Data for all three scenarios was found by conducting field experiments data. Also, all three scenarios have a discount rate of 10%. For each scenario, Year 1 includes the initial investment of purchasing the drone.

The conclusion portion of this project will include a summary of the project, point out potential weaknesses within the project, and state the final consensus about UAV technology used within the agricultural appraisal industry. Thought the course of this project, the terms UAVs and drones will be used interchangeably. The final consensus about UAV use within agriculture appraisal is that despite the legal and time risks, UAVs are still beneficial to agricultural appraisers. As mentioned in the report, done use can increase efficiency and accuracy when inspecting larger tracts of land. UAVs allow appraisers to view areas of the property that are difficult to assess due to weather, accessibility, or terrain.