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The Role of Robotics and Automation in Modern Farming Systems

The agriculture industry has experienced an influx of various technologies seeking to increase productivity, profitability and sustainability. Many challenges such as labor shortages, inflation and unpredictable weather have had negative impacts on farms across the world.

More than ever, farmers are looking to new technologies such as robotics and automation to mitigate some of these challenges and increase production. With the help of agriculture experts, these groundbreaking technologies are transforming modern farming systems. Let’s explore the role of robotics and automation in modern farming systems.

Automated Tractors

Sophisticated automated tractors are built to perform a variety of tasks on modern farms. From prepping fields, planting and harvesting, automated tractors save farmers time and labor costs. These smart tractors have GPS capability, and they use artificial intelligence to learn the field and control pesticide application as well as the amount of water used during irrigation.

In addition to reducing labor costs, these smart tractors improve accuracy and efficiency on farms. With automated tractors, less errors are made when compared to human labor because of their complex design and precise artificial cognition. These tractors also can collect data as they are working the fields. This data is crucial knowledge for farmers on the condition of their crops and soil for them to make informed decisions about the care of their farms.

Dairy Farm Automation

One of the greatest innovations in the automation and robotics field on dairy farms is robotic milking systems. This not only significantly reduces labor cost and time, but also this system benefits the farmer by collecting vital information on milk quality, quantity and cow health.

Dairy farms also use automatic feeders, which lowers labor needs and provides the cows with optimally formulated and frequent feeding. Robots are also being used on dairy farms to keep the areas where cows reside clean. On the packaging side, automation has changed the industry by  assisting in packaging, loading and distributing dairy products.

Drones

Drone technology is being used on farms and in product development field trials. These drones are essentially flying robots with various capabilities such as scouting pests, monitoring plant water stress and detecting stray livestock.

Scouting pests before they take over a field allows farmers to treat their fields quicker, lowers the amount of crops lost and decreases the amount of inputs used with such early detection. Agriculture experts and innovators are continuing to explore the use of drones when measuring the success of new technologies and how farmers can use drones to improve their farming systems.

Final Thoughts

There are numerous ways automation and robotics are changing the agriculture industry. Agribusinesses focusing on new technologies are continually seeking out and supporting new innovations that will increase production and efficiency. Automated tractors, robotic milking systems and drone technology use will continue to increase in modern farming systems.

Integration of these technologies is necessary to support initiatives from the United States Department of Agriculture that are working to increase production by 40 percent in 2050. Robotics and automation on modern farms offer so many possibilities for increasing productivity, efficiency and sustainability around the world.

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