Engineering staff at Harper Adams University in Shropshire are adapting farm machinery to create small autonomous tractors and harvesters to grow a hectare of crops. They will be monitored by drones and special ground-roaming vehicles and will be harvested next August.
“There’s no technological barrier to automated field agriculture. This project gives us the opportunity to prove this and change current public perception,” researcher Kit Franklin told the Times.
While analysts say automation technology in farming could boost farmers’ profits by an average of 20 percent, many are worried it could cost farmers their jobs.
“It’s not about putting people out of their jobs; instead changing the job they do,” Franklin maintains.
“The tractor driver won’t be physically in the tractor driving up and down a field. Instead, they will be a fleet manager and agricultural analyst, looking after a number of farming robots and meticulously monitoring the development of their crops.”
The capabilities of …