TMMF Ltd
Farminguk
28 May 2016 | Online since 2003
OvoConcept


9 January 2014 07:58:16|

Farming with lazers and drones


Real-time crop data from the skies, microdot spraying at 1% of current pesticide costs and weeding with lazers - lazy rural idylls were thoroughly booted into touch when Prof Simon Blackmore presented his ‘vision of farming with robots’ this afternoon.
The Harper Adams agri-engineer was asked to talk about 2050, when an estimated 9bn mouths to feed worldwide will require innovative approaches to produce more, with less waste, while using fewer inputs.
His technological high lights included a dot lazer weeding robot, currently in development at Harper, and an autonomous sprayer - again a present prospect rather than farming future - which differentiates between weeds and crops and applies chemical only to weed leaves, saving “99.9% of product by volume”.
Then there was a selective crop harvester, which harvests to buyer specifications.
“Up to 60% of crops is not of saleable quality - so why harvest it? Crop robots might also mean we can keep value on the farm - grading, packing and sorting all at the point of harvest.”
The professor stressed that much of the sensor technology and computing power was already a reality. He said: “All of these concepts have been researched and developed, but not many are available through what the machinery manufacturers say is ‘lack of demand’ How long will it take for UK farmers to take advantage of these new opportunities?
Prof Blackmore said: “Is big always good? We’ve currently got huge problems with compaction. Up to 90% of energy going into cultivation is to repair damage caused by machines.”
He added that computer route planning of tractor paths could help. “Up to 96% of field compaction is caused by random traffic paths,” he said, before questioning the need to cultivate topsoil in its entirety.
“We can get right down to individual plant level and individual plant care,” he suggested.

Download





0 Comment


loginuserlogo
Name

Please enter your name


Email

Comment

Please enter your comment


Post Comment

Your comment submitted successfully.Please wait for admin approval.


Comments

No comments posted yet. Be the first to post a comment

World News

Canada | 27 May 2016
Southern Ontario farmers launch their own weather network

Southern Ontario farmers are building their own weather network to more accurately record how conditions will affect their crops. The AG Grower Daily Dashboard project is designed to give farmers h...


Australia | 27 May 2016
National Australia sees farmers seeking loans to weather crisis

National Australia Bank Ltd., the nation’s largest lender to farmers, is expecting its dairy clients to seek short-term credit to assist them as slumping milk prices have thrown the industry into a cr...


USA | 27 May 2016
Central Indiana county approves livestock farm restrictions

A central Indiana county has approved new restrictions on big livestock farms limiting where those farms with hundreds or thousands of animals can be built. The ordinance approved this week by the ...


Ireland | 27 May 2016
Dairy farmers' income plight in spotlight

IFA president Joe Healy, who met with EU Agriculture Commissioner Phil Hogan in Brussels, said the majority of dairy farms will be in the red this month. He urged the Commissioner to act without de...


Canada | 27 May 2016
The changing face of Canada's farm industry

Mapping the evolution of Canada's farm industry is not as simple as just examining the numbers. Every five years, Canada's federal government asks us to provide details on who lives in our househol...



Trending Now

Viewed
Discussed

Farms and Land for sale

PropertyLocation
PropertyAgent
PropertyMinimumPrice
PropertyMaximumPrice
PropertyCategory

Holiday Rentals search

AccommodationKeyword
AccommodationType
AccommodationCounty
AccommodationStarRating


Top stories you may have missed
closeicon
Username
Password