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November 30, 2021

5 Automation Technologies That Improve Agricultural Returns

Agriculture development has been a watershed moment in human history. There have been technological improvements that have helped create greater yields and lowered prices for consumers throughout the years. Today, the focus is on saving money, reducing the impact on the environment, and creating a suitable product. Farm automation is one way that the agriculture industry is moving into the future. This technology improves agricultural returns for farmers while helping to boost efficiency around their operations.

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What Is Farm Automation?

With the global population expected to reach about 10 billion people by the year 2050, the agriculture industry will need to increase food production by 70% to sustain current growth. Farm automation uses drones, robotics, and software as a way to transform the current agriculture industry

Farm automation is also known as smart farming. With this new technology, farms are becoming more efficient in the production of crops and livestock. An increasing number of these agriculture businesses are using robotics to develop autonomous tractors, harvesters, seeders, and waterers to produce these crops. While most of this technology is new, these innovations are becoming commonplace in the agricultural industry. Many of those traditional companies are beginning to use farm automation in their farming processes. 

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Farm automation is helping in numerous ways in the industry. With these advances, consumers can purchase sustainability-produced products at lower costs. Today, much of food costs are tied to labor. Since there are labor shortages, those prices are passed on to the consumer. Now with robotics, those labor tasks are automated, reducing costs for the farmer and consumer. Finally, don't forget about the environmental benefits of automation. This new technology helps to minimize any ecological damage while saving money and time for the farmer. 

a small tractor in a field

Robotic Planting and Weeding

Robots developed for planting and seeding are designed to target specific areas of the farm. Labor costs are reduced as robots complete those mundane tasks. In many cases, weeding robotics can reduce pesticide usage by 90% with their accurate analysis of the crops. This technology allows the robot to precisely spray herbicides on the produce when needed. With that, farmers have an improved way to prevent and control weeds in their fields. Some planting robots are autonomous and assist farmers in keeping their row crops seeded for the upcoming growing season. These machines are more economical and ecological than using manual labor to sow these fields. 

Remote Controlled Tractors

With autonomous tractors, they can be pre-programmed to work independently or controlled by the farmer. Most of these autonomous tractors help reduce labor costs, increase the season's yield, and improve efficiency for daily operations. In some situations, farmers do not need to purchase new equipment. Some automation kits can help farmers quickly retrofit their existing tractors to deliver cutting-edge technology to their farms. These tractors are also helping to tend to the field in those seasons of less agreeable weather. Instead of having workers in the field and risking harm to their health, these tractors can work day and night to complete the job. 

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Automated Harvesting

Along with autonomous tractors, harvesting can be done with a push of a button. These harvesters are allowing farmers to save on labor costs. In many cases, these machines can pick more fruits and vegetables than a whole team of workers in a shorter time. That means there is less money spent on physical workers, and the crops can be harvested in a timely fashion without worrying about losing the valuable harvest. As a result, consumers will not feel the pinch of high food prices accompanied by rising labor costs. 

Smart Farming Apps

Yes, there is an app for everything, including farming. Modern apps allow farmers to check on the progress of their fields or livestock. They can monitor the health in real-time with data that is sent back from the field. If there is an issue, then the farmers can address those areas, such as the need for more water or increased pest control efforts. This method allows the farmer to focus on other areas of the business. Plus, many of these apps can help the farming team predict yields for the upcoming season and make adjustments. With active monitoring, farmers have better control of their fields and can implement resources if there happens to be a problem with the crops or livestock

a drone above a crop

Drone Technology

Drones are another way that the agriculture business is moving into the future. These machines can be used to monitor the conditions in the field and send back real-time information to the farm. Along with that, they are often used to evenly apply pesticides, fertilizers, and other chemicals from the air. Scanning a field has never been easier. These innovative products can help farmers to diagnose problems spots with their infrared and imagery analysis. Many of these robotic flyers can operate autonomously as they send back data to the farmer in real-time. 

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The agricultural industry understands that it must adapt to the changing world. Gone are the days of unusable farming practices that left the earth depleted of its resources. The focus is now on creating methods that can help sustain farming for generations to come. There is a significant concern to protect the planet from climate change and high demand for quality food. With all these issues at the forefront, farming automation leads the charge to a more sustainable agricultural industry. 

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