Much like other industries, agriculture has been undergoing an automation revolution. Driven by the need to control costs and increase outputs, farmers are increasingly turning to technology.
Many farmers currently use drones to monitor their crops for soil health, irrigation and pest issues. With this new ability to pinpoint where water and pesticides are most needed, they can address those needs timelier and more efficiently.
Self-driving tractors also increase output and conserve resources. These machines plant seeds within a few centimeters of their target locations, and GPS-guided harvesters reap the crops with equal accuracy. Planters towed behind the tractors know the nutritional content of every square foot of the fields, so they can plant more seeds in richer soil and fewer in areas that are nutritionally depleted. Sensors can be mounted on a fertilizer sprayer’s boom to ensure that each sprayer delivers just the right amount of fertilizer depending on the health of an individual plant or section.
The future of agricultural automation is not limited to large machinery. Many believe that big tractors could be replaced with smaller, more task-specific machines like sprayers, as well as smaller tractors and robots. Autonomous robots already have been proven to work well in many agricultural tasks such as tilling, sowing and harvesting of grains. Robots have been devised that can navigate plant rows, sense the plants and send the data to the farmers to help optimize seed breeding. Robots equipped with “weed punchers” can drive weeds into the ground.
The benefits of technology also include environmentally friendly developments. Take a look at the line of Automated Lubrication Systems by Groeneveld. Each system utilizes a state of the art design to minimize grease consumption, while increasing efficiency. The technology also ensures that every grease point gets hit, decreasing down time usually set aside for maintenance and repairs.
One expert estimates that advances in agriculture technology could result in farm yields potentially rising by more than 70 percent by the year 2050. With the world’s population expected to reach 9.6 billion by that time, we can be thankful that technology will help us meet our growing need for a sustainable food supply.
To learn more about utilizing technology for heavy machinery in the agriculture industry, please contact one of our specialists today.