Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) have found use in agriculture for decades, with unmanned helicopters spraying pesticides on rice fields in Japan back in the 1980s. Now, to have drones reach their full potential in farming, research is increasingly pushing toward beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) operations. Agriculture is a market second only to infrastructure in the global market for drone-powered solutions, according to a report from PriceWaterHouseCoopers in London. And, as the world population grows from 7 billion to an estimated 9 billion by 2050, agricultural consumption is predicted to increase by 69 percent.

UAVs are positioned to play an important role in overcoming what the PwC report stated was the main obstacle in farming— gathering useful insights on crops and livestock scattered across large areas of land in a manner timely enough to intervene quickly when needed.

Read more on this story at Inside Unmanned Systems