The nearest future of crop production is the 100-horsepower robotic tractors, says Scott Shearer, chairman of the department of food, agricultural and biological engineering at Ohio State University, in The Sun Times.
Autonomous tractors will scale similarly, for example, to robotic milkers, which support from 45 to 50 cows. Similarly, the iron “cyber-horse” will be designed for 300 hectares.
Moreover, the tractor will not need more than 100 horsepower, Shearer emphasizes. The transition to smaller robotized equipment is also associated with the need to facilitate the compaction of the soil, this problem was caused by heavy tractors.
“Agriculture is the area that, I think, is ripe for robotics,” Shearer sums up. “This is much closer than you think.”
Among other examples of the current application of modern technologies in agriculture, the expert identifies sensors for collecting data on the state of the soil, controlled irrigation and drainage systems, urban farming systems with a controlled environment.
Urban greenhouses will stimulate food production closer to the homes of most consumers, explains Shearer.
On the other hand, the processing will move towards the farm, combining with it. Logistics companies will deliver the product from the farm directly to the consumer. “The days of the shops of stone and glass will be numbered,” the expert concludes.