ag technology

The Latest Generation Gap In Farming Is About Robots

Oct 1, 2019

On a recent bright, clear day in eastern Nebraska, a small red machine crept through a lush field of soybeans. From the highway, it looked like a small tractor. Up close, its mess of wires came into focus. So did the laptop strapped to the back.

This is the Flex-Ro (Flexible Robotic Unit), one of several robots across the world being designed and tested to help farmers maximize crop yield, use fewer pesticides, and manage the industry’s dwindling labor market.

John Peterson farms corn and soybeans in Jackson, Minnesota, and came to the Farm Progress Show in Boone, Iowa, in late August to see what’s new and to learn about the most current technologies.

Eddie Seal / Texas Tribune

House Bill 1643 makes it a crime to operate a drone over “concentrated animal feeding operations,” as well as telecommunication facilities and certain oil and gas facilities.

The Texas Tribune reports: 

Brandon Biesemeier climbs up a small ladder into a John Deere sprayer, takes a seat in the enclosed cab, closes the door, and blocks out most of the machine’s loud engine hum. It is a familiar perch to the fourth-generation farmer on Colorado’s eastern plains.

He turns onto a country road, heading south to spray an herbicide on his cornfields, an early growing season task his genetically engineered crops demand if he is to unlock their value. In the cab, a computer screen shows a little pixelated tractor moving across digital fields, logging his work.

This summer, in cornfields in Iowa and Nebraska, about a thousand small point-and-shoot digital cameras will be enclosed in waterproof cases, mounted on poles and attached to solar-powered battery chargers. They will take pictures every ten minutes as plants grow; all part of a plan to create better seeds.

“We watch plants go through their normal growth and development and also we watch them respond to environmental stressors, like drought and so forth,” says Pat Schnable, director of the Plant Sciences Institute at Iowa State University.

Creative Commons CC0

Small farming operations are benefiting from mobile technologies geared toward addressing challenges they face, from production to financial services to market access.

Robots are coming to American farms. Here's why.

Jan 12, 2017
Smriti Daniel / SciDev.net

Agriculture is still in the early days of applying robotics to farming. But analysts are confident that in coming years, robots will revolutionize agriculture.

Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

Truckers and those involved in autonomous vehicle technology disagree on how long it will be before driverless trucks will make their way to U.S. roadways.

The Agricultural Drone Market Is Booming

Dec 6, 2016
Gett/Motley Fool

The market for agriculture drones looks to be far bigger than many analysts suspected, according to a new report by The Motley Fool.

In fact, the addressable market for drones performing agricultural work could be as high as $33 billion.*

Driverless Trucks, the Future of High Plains Highways?

Oct 31, 2016
agrilife.org

Could driverless trucks soon be driving along High Plains highways?

Peggy Lowe / Harvest Public Media

From Harvest Public Media

The Western Farm Show in Kansas City, Mo.., is a long way from Silicon Valley.

But here in a huge arena, set in what used to be the Kansas City Stockyards, the high-tech future of agriculture is for sale.

Casey Adams and Scott Jackman, co-owners of Fly Ag Tech, have their large yellow and white drone sitting at center stage in their booth at this huge annual trade show.