What if during planting and harvest, you could be confident your work was being done as efficiently as possible? Well you may not have to wait long for that to become reality. Smart Ag, an ag tech company, has created a software system called AutoCart. This system allows you to monitor and control a self-driving grain cart. After installation, the tractor is fully automated which allows the grain cart it's pulling to go wherever it's directed. According to Farm Industry News, Smart Ag is hoping to start accepting orders this month and start deliveries by the spring of 2019.
Here are a few other agriculture technology trends to keep an eye out for:
IoT and Sensors in the field and in Equipment
IoT, the "Internet of things", is the concept of connecting any device to the Internet. Not just computers, tablets or cellphones. This includes coffee makers, washing machines, even farm equipment. You can place sensors around fields and with image recognition technologies it would allow you to view your crops anywhere. The sensors send up to date information, so you can make changes immediately. Knowing when your crops needed water or nourishment would allow you to yield more crops with less waste. Similar to in the field, sensors are placed on equipment to help track the health of the machine. "Precision agriculture" refers to tractors and other equipment being manufactured with navigation systems and a variety of sensors. Some examples of these types of sensors are GPS that have the capability to compensate for uneven terrain, yield mapping and harvest documentation. Other sensors monitor the health of the tractor rand when it needs to be serviced. Together, these sensors can reduce the amount of downtime your equipment may experience.
Introducing robotics to ag would increase productivity and produce faster and higher volume yields. John Deere recently acquired a farm robotics start-up that focused on spraying and weeding. Other companies are experimenting with laser and camera guidance. These machines would be able to identify and remove weeds without any human direction. Plant-transplanting and fruit-picking robots are also currently being created.
Machine Learning and Analytics
Machine learning can predict with traits and genes are best for crop production. This would help farmers all over the world know the best breed for their location and climate. Machine learning algorithms can also be used when consumers purchase products. The algorithms can show which products are the most popular and which are not selling well. This would help create successful forecasts for future farming.
As more farming technology is being introduced, values of your equipment continue to increase. The improvements made in farming technology have helped cultivate highly effective farmers. Contact your Farm Bureau agent to make sure you are properly covered.