Agriculture is one of the most important industries in a country’s economy and in fact in the world. With the gradual rise of world population, countries that will produce enough food to feed their population and to export will have one of the most important resources akin to oil today.
As a result, strategies that have largely been used to build large global corporations are now seeping into the agriculture sector to enhance productivity. This is the reason that we are seeing an increasing adoption of robotics in the industry.
Robots are now increasingly used in agriculture and the users are reaping the following in benefits.
1. Reduced costs of production
The tasks that robots are taking over in the farms are tasks that would need the farm to hire hundreds of people. Take for example planting in a large-scale farm. Farms are currently flying drones overhead or use autonomous tractors that plant with precision in areas that they are directed to.
This is a task that would have involved the use of tractors which consume fuel, labour in the form of a driver and an assistant. For a large farm, this will translate to a number of tractors and drivers which is a large financial cost.
Robots reduce the reliance on manual and physical labor to complete these tasks.
2. Robots enhance production
When farms use robots, they can easily identify areas of the farm that are highly fertile and those that are not. This type of soil testing can easily be carried out with a drone. The farmer then is able to prepare their land fully.
When crops are growing, drones can be used to identify areas of the farm that need further irrigation by running soil humidity and temperature tests.
This is a task that was previously impossible, but with robots can be easily completed.
Another task that robots can easily and quickly carry out is the crop analysis. Specially developed robots can analyze crops for diseases and create a report for the farm owner. This report can be fed in.
3. Speed in various agricultural practices
Weeding and spraying of crops are some of the tasks that are carried out all the time in agriculture. With robots especially tractors, farmers can use these autonomous tractors to identify weeds and pluck them or apply herbicides.
Autonomous tractors are fast and highly precise. Through machine learning they will easily identify weeds and pluck them quickly and effectively.
4. Help fill the gap left by a shortage of farmworkers
Farms are in a crisis. It is becoming more and more difficult to find employees to work in their farms. To solve this problem, farm owners are now turning to industrial robot systems to fill the shortage and to automate the processes in the farm. It is said that agricultural robots used in harvesting have the capacity to handle the workload of thirty workers.
Robots are a cheaper and convenient response to the decrease in the low number of workers. The remaining workers are not encumbered with workloads they cannot manage, rather they become robot operators. Their work is then made easier and efficient.
5. Robots will produce financial savings
The use of robots in agriculture will see farmers make huge financial savings. First, soil analysis tests that would be expensive for large swathes of land can now be easily and quickly conducted by robots. This makes the process cheaper for the farmer and helps boost production in their land.
Secondly, the farm does not need to hire extra workers especially in times when there is a huge workload such as harvest time. Leasing robots with the capacity of several workers will see the farms’ wage bill reduce significantly while they have a high quality crop that can fetch top prices and bring in more revenue and profit to the farm owner.
Robots in agriculture will enable the world to produce enough food even as the population increases.
image courtesy Sarah Clarry