Harper Adams University staff, supported and led by precision farming specialist Precision Decisions, are attempting to grow and harvest a hectare of cereal crops — all without stepping a foot into the field, according to an article on FGInsight.com.
The project entitled ‘Hands Free Hectare’ has recently got underway, with the team having to create their first autonomous farming machinery, ready for drilling a spring crop in March.
Kit Franklin, one of the researchers, said: “As a team, we believe there is now no technological barrier to automated field agriculture. This project gives us the opportunity to prove this and change current public perception.
“Previously, people have automized sections of agricultural systems, but funding and interest generally only goes towards one single area. We’re hoping to string everything together to create one whole system, which will allow us to farm our hectare of cereal crop from establishment to harvest, without having to go into the field.
Small-scale machinery, already available on the market will be adapted in the university’s engineering labs to make it ready for the autonomous field work.