Mole Valley Farmers
Farminguk
28 September 2016 | Online since 2003
Briefing Media - FG Classified


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

Please enter your email

Please enter valid email


Comment

Please enter your comment


Post Comment

Your comment has been submitted successfully. Please wait for admin approval.


Comments

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


New Zealand | 28 September 2016
Weed free crops? Science may have the answer

Australian scientists are working on a revolutionary new way to help farmers rid their crops of weeds. With billions of dollars lost by farmers every year because of weeds, scientists from Charles ...


Puerto Rico | 28 September 2016
Puerto Rico finds unexpected source of growth in agriculture

Puerto Ricans are buying rice produced on the island for the first time in nearly 30 years. They are also eating locally grown mushrooms, kale and even arugula, along with more traditional crops such ...


USA | 28 September 2016
U.S. farmer lawsuits over Syngenta GMO corn granted class status

A U.S. district court judge in Kansas this week said lawsuits brought by U.S. farmers against seed company Syngenta AG over sales of biotech corn seeds not approved for import by China can proceed as ...


France | 28 September 2016
French cows die after eating all winter stock in one night

Almost half of a 50-strong herd of cows in western France ate themselves to death after chomping on the equivalent of a whole winter’s rations in just one night. The farmer in the Loire-Atlantique ...


Japan | 28 September 2016
2 companies pioneering purchases of Japanese farmland

Photo album giant Nakabayashi and home remodeler Sanyo Amnak will become the first businesses to buy Japanese farmland under a new strategic zone regulation aimed at raising agricultural productivity....



Trending Now

Viewed
Discussed


Top stories you may have missed
FarmingUK
FarmingUK Logo

FarmingUK

Labour will end the badger cull and prioritise ending bovine TB, Shadow Def...


FarmingUK
FarmingUK Logo

FarmingUK

A herd of rare White Park cattle could die out if its owners do not urgentl...


FarmingUK
FarmingUK Logo

FarmingUK

The UK government is "failing" to support farmers in the long-term accordin...


FarmingUK
FarmingUK Logo

FarmingUK

Retailer Co-op has announced that from May 2017 all of its bacon and lamb w...


FarmingUK
FarmingUK Logo

FarmingUK

Over 50 wildlife organisations have compiled a stock-take of all the UK's n...


FarmingUK
FarmingUK Logo

FarmingUK

In the run up to the EU farm ministers meeting the agricultural sector have...


FarmingUK
FarmingUK Logo

FarmingUK

The RPA must iron out a number of problems that still exist with 2015 BPS p...


FarmingUK
FarmingUK Logo

FarmingUK

Tourism businesses in the countryside are being held back due to the uncert...


FarmingUK
FarmingUK Logo

FarmingUK

A 24 point action plan aimed at revitalising Scotland's sheep sector after ...


FarmingUK
FarmingUK Logo

FarmingUK

A new survey has revealed that the vast majority of British consumers belie...


closeicon
Username
Password