It seems like one of the biggest buzzwords in the AG sector these days is “automated farming,” and there’s no seeing that anyone is going to stop talking about it anytime soon. Some farmers are excited at the prospect and others fear for their livelihood, but in all the confusion it’s safe to ask, just what is robotic farming? Separate fact from fiction with us at Fruit Growers Supply Co. today.
A Simple Definition
Coming to grips with this concept will be a lot easier if you know exactly what it is. Put simply, automated farming is any type of agricultural work done without direct human contact. This can entail the use of drones to scope out soil complications, automatic tractors to till the land without the need of a driver, and many other things as well. If it’s something you do in the field that you can remote control or let an A.I. handle, it’s something that’s ripe for robotic farming.
If it sounds like something out of science fiction, you should be aware that the future is very much now. Agricultural robots are one part of a massive movement of automated farming that’s poised to only get bigger and bigger in the coming years. And what exactly is driving the popularity of this technology? That’s what we’ll get into in the next section.
The Pros of Automated Farming
You’re likely aware that the world’s population is exploding at a massive, unprecedented rate. With so many new mouths to feed popping up all over the world every day, robotic farming can help to take the pressure off farmers who need to hit a high crop yield every day but can’t afford the manpower needed to make those kinds of numbers. A one-time investment in a small fleet of drones will cost a lot less than consistently paying the wages of a group of farmhands in the long run.
Another pro is that it creates exciting opportunities to spend less time and money on labor and more on research. So many parts of the world lack things like proper irrigation infrastructure, and robotic farming creates a big window for creative farmers to cut down on the everyday busywork of running their farm and invest more in long term solutions for growth and sustainability. In a very tangible way, agricultural robots can give us more hours in the day for making the world a better place.
The Cons of Automated Farming
Of course, an obvious implication of what we just discussed is that by putting more of the onus for field labor on the shoulders of robotic farming, there will be fewer jobs for the human beings that are currently picking and harvesting our crops. This strikes many farm owners as an unsavory proposition, especially considering the fragile state of the food industry and the economy at large. No matter what kind of efficiency it might bring to operations, automated farming is eventually going to be responsible for more than a few field hands waiting in the unemployment line.
There’s also the fact that robotic farming goes against the rustic traditionalism that many agriculturalists are used to. While everyone likes having their life made easier by technological advances, many farmers are born and bred to do things with their own two hands, and some don’t trust machines to deliver the same quality of work they’ve been trained to bring their whole lives. Farmers can be mistrustful of change, and agricultural robots certainly represent a big difference in the way they’re used to doing things.
Finding the Balance
Going forward, the challenge of robotic farming is going to be in making sure it unburdens farmers from busywork without negatively impacting the economies and communities around it. This technology exists to help the world and bring more food to more people, after all, so it would be a bitter irony if it ended up taking food out of people’s mouths instead. Both farmers and the creators of this technology will have to be very diligent in making sure the communities they support stay healthy, both in terms of their nutrition and their economy as well.
Robotic farming will also likely have to change much of how we think about and structure our present farming operations. It won’t be tenable to do things the same old way when there are so many new advances popping up every moment, and it’s probable that farmers and field hands alike will have to train themselves in new skill sets if they want to keep up with the new food economy. Automated farming has a huge amount of potential to make the world a better place, and if agricultural robots can help the fields and let farmers focus on more important matters, we say go for it!
Robotic Farming and Fruit Growers Supply Co.
No matter what the future may hold, Fruit Growers Supply Co. is sure to be a part of it. We’ve been around for every major change in farming from our very beginning in 1907 up until the present day, and we plan to witness—and help farmers adapt to—many more to come. You have a reliable friend in the field when you choose to shop with Fruit Growers Supply Co.
To learn more about how we can help you weather the changes that robotic farming may bring, or to ask for a consultation on how to irrigate your land or anything else, send us a message today. You can always trust that friendliness, efficiency, and expertise will define your visits to Fruit Growers Supply Co., so let’s join forces and make a better, fuller California today.