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Harvest 2050

Copyright: iStock

October 2017

New research and technologies are providing unique opportunities that have the potential to transform many farming practises.

In this short video BBSRC is looking towards an exciting future, exploring opportunities that could revolutionise farming systems with the use of drones, satellite data, and robotics along with advances in genomics, crop and livestock breeding.

Predictions of population growth suggest that by 2050 the world’s population will have expanded to over 9 billion and 60% more food will be required to avoid mass malnutrition and starvation. A huge boost in agricultural productivity will be needed to meet this demand. It is not simply about using more land for food production, but maximising efficiency of land use and resources, increasing the resilience of food supply chains, while at the same time protecting the environment.

The video provides a glimpse of how innovative technology can transform the current harvesting routine and features the Hands Free Hectare project at Harper Adams University; the first ever in the world to plant, tend and harvest a crop via autonomous vehicles and drones and research from the Earlham Institute; where they are using remote sensing, computer vision and machine-learning modelling to monitor and estimate crop-climate interactions.