Skip to comments.World's first hands-free farmland in Britain hailed a success
Posted on 09/30/2017 2:03:05 AM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet
LONDON, Sept. 29 (Xinhua) -- In what has been described Friday as a world first, a farm field in Britain has been planted and harvested completely by autonomous vehicles and drones without any farmhands in sight.
The hands-free crop farming was delivered in joint project by Harper Adams University in Shropshire and Yorkshire-based Precision Decisions, in an initiative partly-funded by the government agency, Innovate UK.
The renowned agricultural university and Precision Decisions announced Friday the successful completion of "Hands Free Hectare", a project to plant, tend and harvest a crop using only autonomous vehicles and drones.
A spokesman for Innovate UK said: "Using this method returned a yield of 4.5 tonnes of spring barley, against a predicted yield of 5 tonnes. It demonstrates that an entire crop can be grown from start to finish without people ever needing to go into the field to directly work the land. The team believes it's the first in the world to farm a crop in this way. They now plan to replicate the trial with a winter crop."
A number of machines were used in the trial. A lightweight Iseki tractor did the spraying, drilling and rolling. The harvest was then completed with a Sampo combine harvester.
Field work to support decision-making was also done autonomously. Drones with multi-spectral and RGB color sensors were used to take aerial images of the field, while a smaller Scout vehicle was used to video at crop level and physically take samples.
These were sent back to the agronomist to analyze and assess what chemicals to apply and where, and when the crop was ready for harvest.
Smaller machines were specifically chosen to limit the impact on the soil, improve precision and plant health.
Innovate said this supports the thinking that in future, farmers will manage fleets of smaller, autonomous vehicles. These will go out and work in the fields, allowing the farmer to use their time more effectively.
The whole project cost less than 268,000 U.S. dollars, funded by Precision Decisions and Innovate UK.
guess we don’t need illegals as cheap farm labor anymore.
My thought as well. A similar development of autonomous mechanized agriculture is underway in Japan in order to address her need for farm labor. A generation from now, much of the hard labor of farming will be a thing of the past.
I’m intrigued by vertical farming.
“World’s first hands-free farmland in Britain hailed a success”
Yes, a robot can grow crops.....but where’s the love!?
Once they figure this out for fruits and vegetables there really isn’t a rationale anymore for temp farm labor, e.g. illegal immigration.
Isaac Asimov CAVES OF STEEL
Once they figure out how to do it across all industries, no more need for workers beyond a few people in any industry.
Like we don’t spend enough time on equipment maintenance now!
No more peeing on everyone’s salads.
“Farming is easy, if your pencil is your plow, and the nearest field is 1,000 miles away”
And that’s why Britain isn’t crawling with wetbacks.....besides, the Muzzies are taking up all the prime turf.....
It’s alarming how charming it is to be a-farming.
“The whole project cost less than 268,000 U.S. dollars”
That is about the price of 1 combine today.
And about a 1/4 of the price of one of the advanced Cotton harvesting machines. (actually gins in field)
There is something to be said for the old ways. We, humans, get reliant on tech and get soft and stupid, then we need to do gor ourselves what the pioneers did on a daily basis...
And one day we are going to pay the price for forgetting the old ways.
My family has owned/operated farms in this county since 1889. I was 1st to move away. Was gone 25 years, back since 1995.
I have no illusions about the reality of it. It is a very difficult way to make a living. We own our land and equipment and are not in current terms “large farmers”.
Many local farmers today work 10,000 acres. Talk about exposure. And the equipment cost is huge.
Problem today? The strong dollar has killed our export in many crops because of exchange rates. That and input cost push due to “technology” (i.e. seed law)
We want to continue, it will not be easy.
My father is 92, has farmed here all his life except for 2+ years in Europe during WWII. He was also a general contractor, he was very good at that too.
He still lives alone and drives his pickup and car (locally). He is happiest if he can still be involved, he likes to set on the turn row and “supervise”. He is a great guy. Respected by all who know him.
It will still require security. With their domestic terrorists being so active, unattended crops will be poisoned or destroyed in rapid succession.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.