The Role Of Drones And Autonomous Vehicles In The 21st Century Farm
Farm Insurance specialists Lycetts have taken a look at the potential role of Drones and Autonomous Vehicles in the future of farming and it seems clear that both are going to play a big role.
Regarding Drone, agricultural practices are certainly going to need to continue to develop and become more efficient. PwC has reported on expert views that agricultural consumption will need to increase by close to a staggering 70% by 2050 to account for the world’s growing population. The World Bank has also predicted that those across the globe will need to produce 50% more food by 2050 given the global population rise rates.
The good news is that technology is constantly evolving with lots of developments being made to help the industry. The Drone market is lucrative. It’s expected to increase by 34% to reach over £4.8 million in 2017. US technology research experts Gartner has also predicted that production figures will jump by 39% this year.
They take the stress out of planting and looking after produce reduce the costs of planting by as much as 85%. The tech sees drones shooting pods with seeds as well as plant nutrients into the soil, enabling plants to receive the vital nutrients they require. They can also be fitted with remote sensing equipment which quickly and easily identifies the driest sections of a field. Regarding crop spraying, drones can scan the ground of a farm and then spray the correct amount of liquid once the distance from the ground has been modulated. An even coverage will be achieved while the amount of chemicals penetrated into groundwater will also be reduced. Finally, time-series animations through drones will be able to display the exact development of a crop and detail any inefficiencies with production.
The market for autonomous vehicles is also looking positive. Management consulting firm Bain have said that the global opportunity for assistive and autonomous technologies for the business-to-business market will be somewhere in the range of $22 to $26 billion per year by 2025.
Autonomous vehicles already assist the industry and a team of agricultural engineers from the Harper Adams University in Shropshire have set about creating an autonomous tractor which can perform tasks like the drilling, seeding and spraying of land while being steered by a farmer in a control room.
In the French region of Burgundy inventor Christophe Millot has successfully created a vine-pruning robot. The latest-generation model of his four-wheeled gadget is made up of six cameras, two arms and a tablet computer found inside the robot. These features combine in a way that the machine can learn as it goes about its task so to trim grass around each vine with a cut every five seconds.