Automation Is Helping Farmers Reduce Their Workloads

Automation Is Helping Farmers Reduce Their Workloads
Photo by Anastasia Shuraeva from Pexels

One farmer in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania admitted although he loves farm life, he wishes he had more help to run his tractors. His fiancee agreed that planting and harvesting are very time-consuming and during those seasons, they are often too busy to do much else. However, they will never give up farming, which has been the family business for generations. 

In recent years, new technologies have given farming's intense labor demands some relief. With the introduction of robots, sensors, automated tractors and drones, farmers are able to tend to other jobs while monitoring the work of these new, helpful machines. How have traditional farming chores changed with these new advances?

Introduction of Robots

Many different robotic devices are now used for crop harvesting. In addition to being automatic, they are able to imitate the repetitive movements of human hands without damaging the produce. There are also devices that can maintain the condition of fields by plowing soil, eliminating weeds, and planting seeds. All of these additions save time and reduce the need for hiring more workers.

Installation of Monitoring Sensors

In the past, farmers had to manually inspect crop and chemical storage units to make sure they were running correctly. Now, they can do this hands-free if they place level switches and sensors in their silos and bins, which will monitor the amount of crop collected or the level of liquid left in a tank. The switches will automatically adjust filling or stopping in response to what the farmer has specified during installation. Eliminating workers' exposure to tight spaces and hazardous moving parts, the sensors and switches have increased safety.  

Sensors can also improve irrigation by monitoring soil water levels in various areas of the farm.  Then water can be distributed to the soil that is too dry.

Use of Drones

Without drones, many industries would still be wondering how to get visual access to remote or high elevation areas. In addition to producing images, drones are also capable of spraying substances on the ground. Now farmers are using drones to apply chemicals such as pesticides to their fields. Like the other innovations, the drones are automated and the farmer can program and monitor them from a distance. 

The Invention of Unmanned Tractors

Thanks to the ongoing research in automated vehicles, the farm tech industry developed a way for farmers to make their tractors self-running. Instead of sitting behind the wheel, farmers can program their tractors to plow or maintain fields on their own. And they don't need to buy new equipment. They can place a new automation device in the tractor they already own. 

Summary of Features and Benefits

  1. Automation allows farmers to adjust machines via computer off-site which saves time and labor costs. Data collected from the machines can be used to help farmers address problems or make changes in the device's programming.
  2. A reduction in a farm's workforce is overcome due to the efficiency of the machines, which can produce more in a shorter amount of time than humans can.
  3. Due to the increased production, the agricultural products are transported to stores more quickly.  Quicker distribution helps to maintain the quality of the foods.
  4. An increase in the volume of food products harvested through automation will lower prices for shoppers.
  5. Hands-off management of automated farming equipment reduces the number of farming injuries. 
  6. When farming tasks can be completed automatically and efficiently, farming families can spend more time together. 

As automated farming continues to evolve, farmers may be able to better manage their workloads.  Their labor is vital to supplying our world's food. Thankfully, companies are providing many technical advances to make farm life a little easier.