Farmers are integral to meeting the food demand worldwide. However, in most cases, they are constantly overworked. While employees in other industries only work a weekly average of 37 hours, farmers work more than 40 hours per week including weekends.
These long hours of work involved in farming are due to the intensive manual labor required to ensure that farmers reap healthy volumes of crops.
But there are also farmers that have begun to implement modernized farming techniques — such as automation — to help lessen the physical toil involved in agricultural operations.
The benefits of modern day farming techniques are endless, but it all boils down to improving the quality of life for farmers by allowing them to move away from time-consuming manual labor in the farming fields while also increasing yield results – through automation.
This is proven by the growing adoption of automation in the form of agricultural robotics, which is expected to reach a worldwide market valuation of USD 20.6 billion by 2025.
Let’s dig deeper into the current state of farmers and how automation can help modern farmers improve their quality of life.
The Current State of Farmers
The continuous rise of the world population means the demand for crops is also dramatically increasing. However, on the other hand, farmers are affected by the ongoing labor shortage. Contributing to this manpower inadequacy in farmlands are the physical demands involved in this field of work. Other people would work elsewhere than be exposed to a physically demanding job.
Research shows that farmers are commonly subjected to several physical health concerns due to lengthy periods of intensive labor and extreme working conditions. Farmers also experience musculoskeletal pain and discomfort that contribute to their high levels of stress and tiredness, as well as sleep deprivation.
According to a survey, 57% of farmers are stressed as a result of their farm labor. On top of the physical distress, other top factors that bring stress to farmers include bad weather (47%), workload (32%), and money problems (32%).
As the agricultural sector moves toward modern day farming, farmers also deal with increasing pressure to adopt sustainable farming practices, or the need to grow crops without harming the environment. In effect, farmers try to use fewer agricultural inputs in an attempt to save resources, sometimes at the expense of their crops’ health.
Farmers also deal with uncontrollable productivity challenges, such as climate change, soil erosion, and resource depletion. But the good news is that automation can help solve all these farming issues.
Automation Can Help Improve Modern Day Farming Practices
Existing agricultural automated machines, such as autonomous tractors, have allowed farmers to execute their work more efficiently and respond to the current farming challenges while lessening their physical involvement in the field. We’ll tackle a few examples of how automation can help farmers in managing farm stress by improving modern day farming practices:
Automation Helps With Sustainable Farming
Autonomous tractors help farmers relieve their physical strain while promoting farming sustainability.
How? Autonomous tractors are integrated with artificial intelligence-powered detection systems that provide farmers with information on the optimum amount of agricultural inputs required by each part of the field. And this information is being gathered by the tractors absent the need for farmers’ physical participation in the field.
The result: farmers can efficiently use agricultural products, such as fertilizers and pesticides, without compromising their crops’ health and spending too much physical work on the field.
Automation Improves Farming Weather Resilience
One of the biggest challenges in modern day farming is climate change: rising temperatures, increased weather variability, shifting agroecosystem boundaries, invasive crops and pests, and other extreme weather patterns. And one of its adverse effects on farming is diminished crop yields. Autonomous tractors can help combat this and help enhance agricultural productivity despite extreme weather conditions.
Autonomous tractors can operate in practically every weather condition absent a human driver. This translates to continued farming operations regardless of the weather.
The result: farmers will not need to be exposed to excessive heat, heavy rains, and other harmful elements to maintain and oversee their crops.
Automation Improves Working Conditions for Farmers
The numerous tasks involved in farming field maintenance and supervision tend to cause fatigue to farmers and lead to struggles in providing quality outputs. Technologies used in farming, such as autonomous tractors, assist with farmers’ workload by scanning farm areas and providing data on the health of crops and fields through agricultural precision technologies.
Farmers can gather these data sets remotely using any type of smart device, such as smartphones or tablets, eliminating the need for farmers to go through their entire field of crops.
The result: farmers gain more accurate crop information without excessive exposure on the field. They can also act on existing crop concerns in a timely manner.
Improving Quality of Life for Farmers One Autonomous Tech At A Time
Through automation, farmers can quickly respond to farming concerns brought about by pests and climate change, and produce more high-quality outputs efficiently, while lessening physical involvement in the farm.
Automated machines, such as autonomous tractors, also provide a more sustainable farming process and accurate field information, paving the way for productive farming seasons.
Bear Flag is now deploying autonomous tractors on select farms in North America and has assisted farmers in not only reducing their time working in the field but also increasing yields.
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