For hundreds of years farming has relied heavily on manual labour. Even though the farming process has changed radically it has still required a large workforce. Over the last century we have seen the increasing use of mechanisation in many on-farm operations, and trends show that the next few years could herald the increasing use of robots and robotics across all aspects of the farming industry.
Robots working in the field
Robotics can support farmers in delivering precision farming. Automated machines are ideal at performing repetitive tasks like seed planting, crop spraying and harvesting. Freeing farm labourers from these menial tasks so they can focus on more crucial ones.
Robots with vision systems can identify any anomalies in a crop that could stem from pests or disease; alerting the farmer so they can take any action to prevent a problem spreading. Some robots can even selectively crush larvae, reducing the need for pesticides. On a number of farms in California and Arizona robots are already at work harvesting crops and picking weeds.
Robotics supporting labour shortfalls
Brexit and the war in Ukraine have left many UK farmers with a huge labour shortfall. This can lead to an increase in financial pressure. As a solution to the lack of labour, farmers have been putting robot labourers to work, and as they can work 24/7, this could help to increase productivity levels, streamline day-to-day operations and bring huge efficiency gains.
How can robots help poultry?
Robotics bring enhanced efficiency in poultry farming such as robotic feed and water dispensers that can be programmed to release food and water at specific intervals ensuring birds receive optimal nutrition. Additionally, robotics can support egg producers, as clever technologies can collect and pack eggs ready to go to market.
Farming robotics in the future
As with all modern technology, implementing new robotics throughout a farm can seem an expensive measure to take. However, the reduction in labour costs, chemical usage, pest and disease incursions along with increased productivity ultimately could make them a cost-effective investment.
Learn how Livetec can improve the wellbeing of your flock and your farm here.