Improving Farm Management Through Autonomous Tractors
Humans have relied on agriculture since the first practice of farming some 12,000 years ago; it has allowed civilizations to transition from nomadic hunting to the development of farm fields. And farm management has been an integral part of agriculture since then.
But what is farm management? It focuses on making strategic decisions toward optimal farming productivity and profit. But today, the agricultural sector faces a new slew of challenges that impact effective farm management. These include climate change, fast urbanization, and labor shortages.
To address these challenges, the agricultural sector is called on to adopt advanced farm management techniques to meet humanity’s constant need for food. Best farm management practices now include extending planting seasons for better yields, instead of relying on narrow weather windows — a task that is not easy to accomplish by relying merely on manual labor.
Smart farming and productivity-enhancing technologies, such as autonomous tractors, can answer these farming needs today. Learn more about farm management, today’s farm data management era, and autonomous tractors’ role in maximizing the planting season.
3 Ways Farm Management Can Benefit From Autonomous Tractors
Combining machinery and technology can help improve agricultural management. And an autonomous tractor is an example of a farming tool where these two segments meet. An autonomous tractor uses multiple electronic components, such as GPS-enabled cameras and radars, which transmit data that farmers can use for planting strategies. This makes autonomous tractors a farm management technology unit that can help increase crop yield while reducing dependence on human labor.
This blog will dig deeper into the three ways that autonomous tractors can help with farm management and with maximizing planting seasons.
Customized Field Approach
There is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all approach to farm management. Because of geographical factors and produce demand, different crops are grown in different field areas. Crop selection is also influenced by soil topography and climate. A comprehensive farm management strategy incorporates knowledge from these various biological and physical factors.
This is where autonomous tractors can help. These vehicles are guided by artificial intelligence, which uses algorithms to combine data from satellite photography, drone footage, weather forecasts, and soil sensors. Data from autonomous tractors, in particular, allows farmers to understand how their crops perform in each field daily. Having this information helps eliminate guesswork for farmers and paves the way for efficient farm data management practices because farmers can implement plans that can lead to maximized planting seasons and increased crop yields.
Efficient Use Of Manpower
According to our Farming Data Report, 73% of respondents were very concerned about a skilled labor shortage; 73% indicated that they have had difficulty finding competent individuals in the past; and 71% of respondents stated that it is difficult to locate skilled tractor operators or workers.
Farm managers must find a strategy to address the labor shortages and know how to increase crop yield. Autonomous tractors can solve this predicament: they can automate monotonous tasks that farmers previously performed manually, solving consistent manpower concerns. Case in point: a fleet of autonomous tractors can also cover a large area with little human intervention and can be controlled remotely from any smart device. Autonomous tractors also enable farm owners to ditch the one man, one tractor paradigm that has been the norm for decades. In effect, farmers can focus on other important tasks, such as farm planning and strategizing.
Longer Operating Capacity
Unlike humans, autonomous tractors do not experience exhaustion. It can also operate around the clock with little-to-no human supervision. This is because autonomous tractors are geared with redundant sensors, LIDAR, and cameras, which allows the vehicles to detect and avoid uneven fields and obstructions from hundreds of meters away, preventing field incidents that can create delays. These same gears installed on autonomous tractors also allow for operations at night, as opposed to traditional tractors, which are limited by natural laws that govern variables such as time of day and extreme weather conditions.
The ability of these tractors to work the fields continuously without supervision, regardless of the time of day and weather conditions, allows farmers to maximize productivity, which contributes to an effective farm management strategy.
Autonomous Tractors: An Efficient Approach To Farm Management
Farm management is frequently associated with large commercial farms, but the same methodologies can also be used successfully on a smaller scale. Autonomous tractors answer challenges that farms face everyday, such as limited manpower and shorter weather windows.
Farmers who use autonomous tractors can do more field work – such as planting, monitoring, and maintenance – faster, without needing a sizable workforce. Therefore, it answers current agricultural concerns on labor and increased food demand. Farmers can also avoid idle speculation because of their access to weather predictions, as well as field and crop health information. In effect, farmers gain accurate field information that assists in farm data management.
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