Extra funding has been made available to expand an autonomous arable farming project in the United Kingdom, reports Chris Mccullough or The Western Producer.
Initially launched in 2016 by Harper Adams University and Precision Decisions, the Hands Free Hectare project was designed to demonstrate that one hectare of grain (2.47 acres) could be grown to harvest without humans setting foot on the land.
Since then, the group has successfully harvested two seasons of grain by using only robots and autonomous machinery including a tractor, combine and drones.
Without setting foot in the one hectare field, the group remotely managed to perform all tasks associated with the crop, including preparing the ground, sowing the seeds, maintaining the crop and harvesting.
MORE BY THE WESTERN PRODUCER
With $340,000 in government funding, the team converted a small Iseki tractor and a 25-year-old combine harvester with a two-metre header into autonomous robots with cameras, lasers and GPS systems.