The next generation of farmhands might be able to leap over barbed-wire fences and towering cornstalks in a single bound.
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Rules restrict use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) now, but the future holds promise for many agriculture uses, said University of Missouri Extension specialists Bill Wiebold and Kent Shannon.

The remote-controlled devices can fly above fields and quickly send information from attached sensors and cameras back to farmers on the ground.

Farmers can download, evaluate and react to data quickly. Dense rows of crops do not obstruct views. Unlike the aging farm population, UAVs are not hampered by medical issues, muddy fields or fence rows. They overcome these barriers to zoom in and immediately send photos electronically to off-farm advisers.