Automation is a technological concept that dictates that every procedure, once completed by human labor, can be done by machinery and computers. The farming sector is one of the industries that have welcomed these systems with the best results.
Automation has made farming more efficient, as it’ll need much more in the coming years when the world’s population will demand significantly more products every year. It has also reduced the cost of operations and the timeframe.
Great examples are tractors and irrigation systems. Automated tractors and automated sprayers for pesticides have increased the accuracy and the profitability of all kinds of farming.
The Benefits Of Automation In Farming Are Endless. Some Of Them Are:
- It has significantly reduced the cost of farming operations. Like the automated irrigation system is now controlled by telematics. Thus, it saves the cost and time spent on daily monitoring.
- The accuracy has increased in leaps and bounds. The yields have been maximized, and the timeframes have been shortened. The amount of water, pesticides, and various fertilizers can be controlled to minute levels through automated spraying.
- Along with effectiveness, safety in farmlands has increased due to highly advanced equipment. Reduced human errors cause much fewer accidents.
- Using GPS, farmers can apply rotational grazing of their livestock much more effectively, which helps to keep grasslands available all through the year. Electronic tagging helps in finding and managing cattle remotely.
- Companies like Padman Stops build automated irrigation gates that can protect the farmers from heavy rain and floods. This way, their damage is lessened, and the supply-demand chain doesn’t break off that easily.
- Less labor means lesser consumption of natural and material resources and lesser amounts of pollution, which is much more environmentally sustainable.
- Farming that’s based on data has been a game-changer. Robots or automated machines can learn from historical data and can take actions accordingly automatically.
There are many applications of modern automated farming all over the world. Some of the best fields for the application of automation are:
Harvesting fruits and vegetables are the toughest gigs for automated machines, as they need delicate handling. But harvest robots are getting more advanced every year. For example, a company named Agrobot developed the first robot that could gently harvest strawberries, avoiding any kind of damage.
Abundant Robotics is another innovative company that has led the way in automating harvests. For example, they completed the first robotic harvest of apples by creating a vacuum rather than picking them off with claws or graspers.
Automation in tractors
Tractors have been the farmer’s best friend for over 200 years. But now, using automation, these tractors can be operated remotely or fully programmed to do every task automatically. These not only reduce labor costs or the time spent driving around, but they also provide enhanced precision in all sorts of operations. There are automation kits available too for more affordable tractors and can be retrofitted to normal tractors to make them driverless.
There are specialized robots for seeding and weeding available too. In the case of seeding, the labor is drastically reduced, and the farmers get to finish work earlier. For weddings, computerized vision can give much more accurate feedback, decreasing the number of pesticides used by almost 90%. Farmers can spray herbicides with improved precision, only where it’s needed, only so much that’s needed. Welding robots can far more economically intercrop and weed meadows, row crows, etc.
Drones are another wonderful invention that’s been created through automation principles. Drones can be fully automated or remote-controlled. They can monitor the conditions of the land continuously and remotely. They can be immensely helpful to know the state of the farming lands after any natural disaster or to disburse various treatments like pesticides and fertilizers to those areas that are hard to reach by foot or by road (temporarily or permanently).
They can also map out problematic areas with images and infrared on a tight budget. And as these machines get more advanced, their analysis will come with greater picture resolution and better speeds.
To combat critical issues like a continuously rising population and potential famines created by an alarming rate of climate change, we need our constant supply of food. And for that, we need all the help in farming that we can get.
Automation is the future of food production in this world. It not only offers a much better ecological balance, but it also provides price benefits to end customers, which is great news for our future generations.