Unmanned aircraft systems represent a relatively new technology that offer a wide range of opportunities for agriculture. In fact, most projections indicate that the largest single market for UAS will be in support of agriculture. Unmanned aircraft systems have the potential to make significant contributions to sustainable agriculture and secure food production.
Initially this will be accomplished through near real-time data collection for enhanced awareness of complex agricultural systems and associated decision-making, leading eventually to active intervention by UAS as needs arise within the agricultural system. At the same, time there is a great deal of uncertainty about this emerging technology, especially as it relates to agriculture.
There is a lot of confusing and conflicting information, combined with new terminology and concepts that will need to be mastered to achieve success in this emerging area. These opportunities and challenges have been recognized by eXtension, and a new Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) in Agriculture Learning Network has been established to deliver knowledge-based information for those interested in agricultural applications.