Engineers using drones to farm crops

Drones being used for farming by Hands Free Hectare project

[Editor’s Note: Hands Free Hectare project hopes to prove that it’s possible to farm a field of crops without anyone setting foot on the field.]

This post originally appeared on http://www.bbc.com/news/business-37851565.

A group of engineers is attempting to prove it is possible to farm a field of crops without anyone having to set foot on the field.

The Hands Free Hectare project will be using remotely controlled machinery, including drones, to plant in March and harvest in September.

Martin Abell, a partner in the project based at Harper Adams University in Shropshire, said the large machines currently used “are doing a lot of damage to the soil”.

Instead of farmers having to physically drive tractors, the smaller machines controlled by an operator from beyond the field will take over the workload.

He added that the machines won’t replace farmers, but “change the job farmers do”.

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