One of five featured smart farm technologies in our precision agriculture series
Despite the endless potential of agribots, tractors are still required for large scale tasks and heavy logistics such as moving hay bales or harvesting sugar beet.
The iconic red tractor of the British countryside remains. However these are smart tractors laden with tech and sensors. Connection with the cloud enables it to take direction from sensors and drone imaging around the farm.
GPS controlled steering and optimised route planning recommends the shortest route across the field whilst ensuring all farm traffic follows the same tracks, minimising soil erosion and compaction as reducing fuel costs.
Given that 90% of the energy invested in cultivation is to repair damage caused by tractors, this offers an important saving to farmers.
By reducing the work required to restore compacted soil and increasing yields, farmers can expect profits to increase by £1.50 per hectare on average.
Inevitably the end goal is for the mainstream employment of autonomous self-driving tractors. But at present the technology is still evolving and yet to make it beyond America’s large scale agri-businesses.