Autonomy – the next agricultural revolution

Farming – in all its forms is traditionally labour intensive especially in areas such as fruit picking. So it’s interesting to have a look at how driverless technology, robotics and other innovations can help farmers become less dependent on seasonal labour. A resource that in many developed countries is in short supply. In an increasingly populated world, our ability to grow food more productively will be a necessity.

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There are a whole host of developments that have been ‘growing’ down on the farm. There are drones capable of spraying 33 acres per hour! Driverless tractors that can do row after row – hour after hour. Seeding systems that can seed with precision and at far greater speeds than traditional methods. This ‘Gears matter blog’ from AGMA’s site takes a look at what is on the horizon.

In Australia, fruit-picking is a vital requirement in the economies of many regions and relies on transitory labour to fulfil this need. So, it is not surprising that Australia is at the forefront of finding alternatives. The University of Sydney has developed this research prototype to automate fruit picking in orchards…

Farming is destined to become increasingly high tech – it’s a really fertile area!