The Future of Farming May Involve Robots Sooner Than You Expect
Long gone are the days when farmers had to wake up before the sun in order to finish off the tasks by sunset. While certain traditionalists may still stick with that practice, by and large, farmers are looking to embrace any new technology that will help them gain an edge with their farming. That edge looks as though it’s going to involve robots. This article will go over the recent developments in robotics and what they’re doing to make farming more efficient than ever.
Autonomous Farm Equipment
In particular, robotics are focusing on farm equipment and replacing the large and bulky equipment that farmers currently pilot. They’re also looking to do so without needing a farmer there to guide it. The benefit here is that it allows the farmer to perform other tasks while the field is being weeded or sprayed with pesticides. In fact, most of the equipment currently being developed focuses in on being able to mow, spread, plant, and plow.
Not all robots do all of these tasks, however. Some of them only focus in on weeding and spraying. There are a few models that can perform all of the tasks that a field requires but they are still generally being tested. The biggest problem that they face is being able to plant. This is because planting requires the equipment to dig deep into the ground. This is an action that many of the robots are not yet capable of performing because they lack the power to do so.
Even still, once they gain that ability, they’ll likely be a better solution. This is because modern farm equipment typically destroys or lessens the nutritional value of the soil when it runs over it constantly. The weight of those machines, alone, can harm the soil and thus decrease its yield.
There are a few benefits that robots can provide for a farm. For one, it can perform the task a lot faster than a farmer can with their modern equipment. The pieces of technology are typically smaller and lighter than the equipment currently being used. They also use technology that helps them differentiate between green vegetation and soil. That makes their spraying more efficient than the practices currently used.
This matters because it limits how many chemicals are released into the environment. In fact, some tests showed that there was an 80% increase in spray efficiency with robot farming equipment. Not only does this save the farmer on cost for those chemicals but it also improves the environment.
The Trade War
With the current trade war with China, farmers are hurting. They’re looking for new technology that can make running their farm more efficient and profitable. Robotics is clearly the path forward. While some may still prefer to utilize artificial intelligence over robotics, the eventual marriage between the two spheres is inevitable. This marriage can help farmers survive not just the trade war with China but also all foreseeable wars.