With the world’s population projected to hit the 9 billion mark by the year 2050, there will undoubtedly be a huge spike in agricultural consumption, which means advanced farming techniques will need to develop to keep up with this demand. For instance, farmers can get a slow hay feeder for horse which means they don’t have to keep going back to their horses to feed them and can get on with other things uninterrupted.
Similarly, machines like forklifts relieve farmers of the back-breaking physical work of heavy lifting. These vehicles are capable of transporting hay or a bag of seed over a wide expanse of farmland. Using forklifts not only increases farm productivity but also makes the workplace safer by eliminating the possibility of farmers getting injured by trying to lift heavy loads on their own. When properly maintained by engaging companies like Texas Motive Solutions, for instance, forklifts tend to perform better, helping farmers save thousands of dollars on major repairs. Fortunately though, the evolution of technology at a rapid pace has led to the development of several other tools that seem to have a place in the agricultural industry.
Two pieces of technology in particular, come into focus as a perfect fit for deployment in agriculture, namely drones and autonomous vehicles.
For all the general uses drones have, those which have been adapted for the agricultural industry have given rise to farming drones that are specifically designed and developed for agricultural purposes. The typical farming drone can complete tasks which traditional farm workers have shown to take a much longer time to complete, such as planting, irrigation and even spraying and monitoring of crops.
It’s about more than just the physical completion of farming related tasks though, but also about more effective planning, estimation of factors such as crop yield and fast-tracking the 21st century farmer’s ability to produce their yield much faster than before. It gets very interesting with the likes of time-series animations and simulations which are able to model and predict things like the likelihood of a crop to fail or meet its targets – something which was only previously available through the very expensive use of satellite technology.
Autonomous farm vehicles
Autonomous vehicles perhaps have an even greater place in the agriculture industry than for the mere transportation of people, but the technology is still being developed, mirroring developments in the primary sector in which autonomous driving technology was pioneered, which is indeed the transportation industry.
In agriculture though, the value shines through even brighter because what an autonomous tractor for example would mean for farmers is that they can perform labour intensive tasks remotely, which would include the likes of drilling, scraping and spraying of land, and seeding. The farmer wouldn’t have to be out in the sun behind the tractor’s wheel, but can rather complete all those tasks from a safe distance. There are many different types of tractors that farmers use for different tasks, so the innovation in this field must cover all possible applications.
The automated combine harvester is fast emerging as a hot feature of autonomous farming vehicles, which will simply allow for harvesting on the same field. Engineers from the Harper Adams University in Shropshire including Mr. J. Gill, K. Franklin and Mr. M. Abell are spearheading the development of the autonomous farming vehicle technology which drives these vehicles.
The importance of farm equipment insurance
Whether you prefer to use traditional farming methods which make use of traditional farming equipment or indeed if you’re the quintessential 21st century farmer who makes use of the likes of autonomous farm vehicles and farming drones, the undeniable fact is that you need to protect your assets. Farm insurance from a leading insurance broker such as Lycetts should be considered if it’s peace of mind you want as a farmer, with many options for the coverage of buildings, machinery, produce and even office content on offer.