• In this photo taken July 25, 2016, Danny Royer, vice president of technology at Bowles Farming Co., prepares to pilot a drone over a tomato field near Los Banos, Calif. The farm hired Royer this year to oversee drones equipped with a state-of-the-art thermal camera. The drone can scan from a bird's-eye view for cool, soggy patches where a gopher may have chewed through the buried drip irrigation line and caused a leak of water, a precious resource in drought-stricken California. On the farm's 2,400-acre tomato crop alone, this year drones could detect enough leaks to save water needed to sustain more than 550 families of four for a year. (AP Photo/Scott Smith)

    In drought, drones help California farmers save every drop

    LOS BANOS, Calif. (AP) — A drone whirred to life in a cloud of dust, then shot hundreds of feet skyward for a bird’s-eye view of a vast tomato field in California’s Central Valley, the nation’s most productive farming region.