Agricultural machinery of the future
Tractors and combine harvesters come to one’s mind immediately when thinking of agricultural industry. Referring to farmers’ work, we tend to imagine a tractor traveling along a field. This staple picture may well be replaced in the next decades of the 21st century. As soon as in the following decade, drones are likely to become as commonplace in agriculture as tractors and combines.
Numerous scientific institutions and universities in various parts of the world conduct research on using drones for monitoring agricultural crops. The National Center of Engineering in Agriculture at the University of Southern Queensland in Australia has been developing a system which will enable to automatize the interpretation of pictures made by drones flying over farmland. The interpretation will include identifying dry areas and the quantity of weed, enabling farmers to react fast and directly, in order to restore crops well-being. Researches at the Australian institution believe that drones are going to be as popular as tractors by 2025.
UNMANNED COMBINE HARVESTERS
The other, even more futuristic idea, involves creating an fleet of unmanned agricultural vehicles. A company from Idaho has recently unveiled a system for controlling agricultural machinery via a smartphone. The user can manage the vehicles remotely from any location in the world. Numerous companies and universities have become involved in designing systems of this kind. There is little doubt they are going to hit the market shortly.
Benefits from technological revolutions in agriculture could be immense. Thanks to the possibility of detecting and reacting fast to various crop conditions, the quality of new solutions is only likely to increase. Via access to a comprehensive and constantly updated database of soil and crop condition, it will be possible to develop customized fertilization strategy. At the same time, the expenses on human workforce are set to decrease. If machines are to take over the practical aspect of farming, the number of staff required to work on the farm will fall sharply. However, should the farmer feel reluctant to trust the remotely-controlled fleet of combines, he could opt for a safer option, sit behind the wheel of a machine which will lead the other, unmanned combines.